At a time when both political parties in the United States, the Democrats and the Republicans, have attorneys general in various states launching legal assaults on the big tech media giants like Google and Facebook backed by threats from both parties in Congress, it is salutary to learn that now Mr Putin is equally upset. Perhaps they should all file suit together in a class action.
Elections to the Moscow parliament have not turned out as they should. Having repeatedly beaten back – literally – demonstrators in Moscow infuriated by the failure of the authorities to allow candidates who were hostile to the government to stand for election, the United Russia Party none the less managed to lose one third of the seats it never expected to lose. What an outrage! One can only imagine what would have happened if all contested candidates had been allowed to stand.
The blame for this disaster – which was clearly not meant to happen and therefore could have happened only through the dastardly behaviour of foreign agents – is attributed to the easiest targets: Messers Google and Facebook. They should, Putin’s people believe, be called to account under Russian law. Anton Krylov, echoing the Kremlin, in Vzglyad ru, the hardline news outlet, out today (9 September), certainly believes so:
Как заставить Facebook и Google соблюдать российские законы
One recalls Berthold Brecht’s bitter poem penned in June 1953 on the violent uprising in East Berlin against the hated GDR régime and its Soviet masters. Brecht noted that since the government was unhappy about the population it should consider electing another.