Internet restrictions must not touch upon freedom of speech - Putin
The campaign against harmful tendencies in the internet, including pedophilia and propaganda of suicide cannot in any way justify restrictions aimed against civil freedoms and Human Rights, Vladimir Putin said at the Tuesday meeting with leaders of the Russian internet industry.
Putin added that all restrictions on the internet content must be introduced through the parliament and other public and political structures, through the joint effort of all citizens.
“We have had a lot of arguments over the bans, like those connected with pedophilia, propaganda of terrorism and illegal drugs, propaganda of suicide. But we are all grown up people. Do we really need to argue about this? Better to let us spare our children,” he told the participants of the Russian internet business forum.
The president also noted that the restrictions must not harm the interests of the free market.
At the same time, Putin said that there was no doubt that internet enterprises must be regulated by the law, just as any other aspect of social relations.
The Russian leader also suggested that the state could help the representatives of national internet companies to become truly independent and start expressing personal views. Putin said that those who are mentioning some special mission of internet companies must remember that such missions need pure sovereignty to become real.
“If all these companies [national search engines] have a single owner this is no longer a mission, this is a monopoly and monopoly is only good when it is your own,” Putin said and smiled. “In general it is a harmful thing.”
“Our mission is to help you – to help the national segment [of the Internet] and people who work in these prospective spheres to become independent. To help you express and formulate if not the viewpoint of the state and the society, but at least your own viewpoint in a way you feel necessary, because when it happens on the national basis, the state will eventually benefit,” Putin told the conference.
In late April this year, Vladimir Putin brought up the topic of relations between authorities, society and internet companies during the televised Q&A session with journalists and bloggers.
The head of the state admitted that “not everything was simple” in the situation, and promised that all decisions on the subject would be passed only after broad social discussion.