So far, there has been no attempt by the Kremlin to crack down on the web, which is the last remaining source of free information for ordinary Russians in an otherwise controlled media landscape. Recently, however, there are signs that the Russian government is reconsidering its laissez-faire attitude towards the internet, especially in the wake of Iran’s web-driven “green revolution”.
Several Russian bloggers who have posted critical articles have found themselves charged with extremism. One is in jail. Another was arrested after comparing Russia’s prime minister Vladimir Putin to a penis. The Kremlin also uses other darker strategies for getting its PR message out, employing dozens of young, patriotic bloggers to flood chatrooms with a pro-Kremlin message, and to attack its enemies.