The Russian diaspora is the third-largest in the world. The Russians fled the country in troves for more than one hundred years. First the Tsar’s crazy politics towards Jews, then the Revolution and Civil War, the Second World War and anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union forced millions to emigrate.In the 90-s, emigration was in the spotlight of society because the borders got opened for the first time in many decades. People started moving in both directions – many of them were leaving the country, but some of the emigrants came back to Russia to capture the new opportunities. (In cooperation with Irina Borogan)
In spring 2016, the Kremlin concluded that its approach to internet control had largely failed–the system of internet filtering was porous, and global platforms such as Google or Facebook remained outside the Kremlin’s reach. For inspiration, the authorities turned east. A first Russia-China cyber security forum in April emphasized the concept of “digital sovereignty.” Our project aims to explore which Chinese censorship measures might be exported to Russia, the consequences for internet freedom, and the likely reactions from global platforms.