Vladimir Putin Says the CIA Created the Internet and Wants an Internet of His Own

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 24 2014 7:08 PM

Vladimir Putin Says the CIA Created the Internet and Wants an Internet of His Own

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The Putin-based Internet.

Photo by DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images

As a former-KGB man himself, Vladimir Putin knows a thing or two about the spy game. The Russian president’s prowess on the Internet isn’t quite as clear. But, apparently, from what he does know about both he’s come up with a clear-headed—if previously unheard of—assessment of the origins of the Internet. The CIA started it.

Putin dropped his creationist Internet theory at a media forum on Thursday, the Associated Press reports, saying “the Internet originally was a ‘CIA project’ and ‘is still developing as such.’” While Putin’s origin of the Internet theory appears as revisionist as it is far-fetched, perhaps he gets the Guardian delivered to the Kremlin.

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What is more troubling about Putin’s online belief system is this (from the AP):

To resist that influence, Putin said, Russia needs to "fight for its interests" online… The Kremlin has been anxious to exert greater control over the Internet, which opposition activists - barred from national television - have used to promote their ideas and organize protests. Russia's parliament this week passed a law requiring social media websites to keep their servers in Russia and save all information about their users for at least half a year. Also, businessmen close to Putin now control Russia's leading social media network, VKontakte.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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