Podcast No. 68: Simon & Sergei – with Damir Gainutdinov

This week our guest on the podcast is Damir Gainutdinov, PhD in law, head of the ‘Online Freedoms’ Project at Agora international human rights group and an expert on freedom of expression and the Internet.

The questions discussed in the podcast include: the internet and traditional media; how free is the Runet today; the vulnerability of social media users to administrative or criminal prosecution; why the authorities are increasingly complaining about Twitter and Facebook; politics and the internet; how “oppositional” is Runet; Russia and the ‘Chinese version’; the authorities and the internet; international regulation – the European Court of Human Rights and the UN; the future of the internet in Russia.

The podcast is in Russian. You can listen to it in full here:

You can also listen to the podcast on Podcasts.com,  SoundCloud,  Spotify  and  iTunes

The music, from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola, is performed for us by Karolina Herrera.

Given the length of the podcast, we have also divided it into three parts that you can listen to separately.

Part One. How free is Runet? – Prosecutions – Risks – Social Media – Anonymity – Politics – Regional Differences – Individual ‘Foreign Agents’:

Part Two. Civil Society – Generational Change – Government – Navalny – US Social Media:

Part Three. The Chinese Variant – Isolationism – Future of the World Wide Web – Russian IT Companies – International Regulation – European Court of Human Rights – United Nations – The Future of Runet – Recommendations:

Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook: ‘ “I don’t think they didn’t wanted to block Twitter, it was just a bluff on the part of the authorities,” Damir Gainutdinov, PhD in law, head of the Online Freedoms project at Agora International human rights group and an expert on freedom of expression and the Internet, told us. “The Telegram story showed that it’s not that simple.” Simon Cosgrove and I spoke with Damir about the war going on on the World Wide Web. The Russian authorities, threatening, maneuvering, bluffing, knowing full well that everyone has been laughing at their attempts to block Telegram. The Kremlin would obviously like to block Google and YouTube, but they understand that such weapons can only be used once, and they cannot afford a false start. So they are using those networks that are less popular in Russia to practice on. Damir is the co-author of many of Agora’s reports on freedom of expression, including the most recent ones on ‘fake news’ and the application of the so-called ‘law on contempt of the authorities’. He explained his view that the ECtHR is clearly behind the curve when it comes to the Internet, losing out to UN institutions. We talked about how ‘oppositional’ the Runet is, whether the ‘Chinese version’ is possible in Russia, and whether Kremlin officials understand the Internet without using a magnifying glass. Listen to Damir’s answers.”

Simon Cosgrove adds: If you want to listen to this podcast on the podcasts.com website and it doesn’t seem to play, please download by clicking on the three dots to the right. A summary of some of the week’s events in Russia relevant to human rights can be found on our website here.

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