By Paul Goble
Roskomnadzor, the Russian government agency which oversees the media, has warned Twitter that it would block the service if it did not remove the account of the Open Russia organization from its lists within a few days (openrussia.org/notes/717247/).
The action follows the agency’s blocking of Open Russia sites as being in violation of Russian law, an action that the Open Russia site has already posted guidance on how to get around this ban (openrussia.org/notes/717233/), yet another case of the offense-defense competition between those who want to control the Internet and those opposed to that.
But this Moscow action is intriguing as it comes on the heels of a declaration by Vladimir Putin’s press secretary that the Kremlin views US President Donald Trump’s tweets official statements of American policy and provides regular summaries of them to the Kremlin leader (tass.ru/politika/4804815 and themoscowtimes.com/news/kremlin-considers-trumps-tweets-as-official-statements-says-putin-spokesman-59913).
“Everything which is published on [Trump’s] official Twitter account,” Dmitry Peskov said, “is considered in Moscow to be an official statement.” The spokesman, however, declined to provide any assessment of Trump’s tweets.