Russia touts ‘sovereign’ social media after major Facebook outage

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Russian officials Underline The need to develop the country’s own “sovereign” social media platforms after a massive outage of Facebook’s vast family of apps hit billions of users around the world on Monday night.

Facebook and its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms essentially “disappeared” from the Internet for several hours after a traffic routing problem left the sites unreachable for several hours Monday night. Facebook blamed the outage on configuration changes it made to routers that coordinate network traffic between its data centers.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the widespread blackouts “answer the question of whether we need our own social networks and internet platforms.”

Zakharova made a point about Telegram, an encrypted messaging app developed by Russian-born tech entrepreneur Pavel Durov that has attracted some 50 millions new users while Facebook and its sister apps were offline on Monday.

Dmitry Marinichev, Internet ombudsman to President Vladimir Putin, Recount to state media that the Facebook outage showed the need for Russia to increase its competitive edge in the digital world.

“Countries must monitor competition in the information field and prevent such a simple monopolization of the information space,” Marinichev told the TASS news agency.

In recent years, the Russian government has moved to isolate the Russian online space with laws and technology aimed at creating a so-called “sovereign Internet” and measures that require devices to be sold preinstalled with software from the Internet. Russian manufacture.

For years, experts have expressed doubts about Russia’s ability to implement the technology necessary to completely isolate itself from the rest of the internet, although reports earlier this year showed that Russia had succeeded in physical disconnection from the rest of the Internet during an annual test.

Putin himself has railed against giants of social media to “replace legitimate democratic institutions” and “control society”.

AFP contributed to the report.


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