Groups Warn Biden Against Internet Sanctions In Russia

Advocacy groups have warned the Biden administration against cutting off the internet in Russia. In recent weeks, Microsoft, PlayStation, Cash App, and more have disabled their services in Russia to boycott the war. Internet service providers Cogent and Lumen also suspended services. Axios reported that Access Now, Center for Democracy & Technology, Committee to Protect Journalists, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights Watch, Wikimedia Foundation, and more groups signed a letter that encouraged the president to provide a license that allowed businesses to provide Internet access to Russia. The United States had previously allowed this after sanctions on Iran, Cuba, and Syria. The groups argued that citizens should not be deprived of basic internet access because of Putin’s actions. They encouraged the U.S. to “carefully consider the full impact of such measures and their possible unintended consequences." The signatories added that while they “applaud strong sanctions broadly…our concerns about growing calls to interfere with the Russian people’s access to the internet, which we fear will hurt individuals attempting to organize in opposition to the war, report openly and honestly on events in Russia, and access information about what is happening in Ukraine and abroad. These measures could also unnecessarily facilitate further repression by the Russian government." For its part, the Biden administration seemed to agree that Russians should have basic internet access and noted: “it would be ill-advised to limit the people of Russia’s access to the Internet, and the U.S. government has not taken any actions to block the people of Russia’s access to the internet." “The people of Russia did not choose this war. Putin did,” the spokesperson continued. “They have a right to know about the death, suffering, and destruction being inflicted by their government on the people of Ukraine. The people of Russia also have a right to know about the human costs of this senseless war to their own soldiers.” Dan Gainor, Vice President at the Media Research Center, expressed concerns to the Washington Examiner that de-platforming tactics could be used against Americans in the future. “We’re seeing Russia being globally de-platformed across the board, and so it’s impossible not to look at that and think it won’t happen to others in America and elsewhere,” Gainor said. “A group of people, the global mob, have decided to target Russia, but they’re fine with genocides in China. How is that acceptable? There are no rules, and the few that exist keep changing,” he added.

Groups Warn Biden Against Internet Sanctions In Russia
Advocacy groups have warned the Biden administration against cutting off the internet in Russia. In recent weeks, Microsoft, PlayStation, Cash App, and more have disabled their services in Russia to boycott the war. Internet service providers Cogent and Lumen also suspended services. Axios reported that Access Now, Center for Democracy & Technology, Committee to Protect Journalists, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights Watch, Wikimedia Foundation, and more groups signed a letter that encouraged the president to provide a license that allowed businesses to provide Internet access to Russia. The United States had previously allowed this after sanctions on Iran, Cuba, and Syria. The groups argued that citizens should not be deprived of basic internet access because of Putin’s actions. They encouraged the U.S. to “carefully consider the full impact of such measures and their possible unintended consequences." The signatories added that while they “applaud strong sanctions broadly…our concerns about growing calls to interfere with the Russian people’s access to the internet, which we fear will hurt individuals attempting to organize in opposition to the war, report openly and honestly on events in Russia, and access information about what is happening in Ukraine and abroad. These measures could also unnecessarily facilitate further repression by the Russian government." For its part, the Biden administration seemed to agree that Russians should have basic internet access and noted: “it would be ill-advised to limit the people of Russia’s access to the Internet, and the U.S. government has not taken any actions to block the people of Russia’s access to the internet." “The people of Russia did not choose this war. Putin did,” the spokesperson continued. “They have a right to know about the death, suffering, and destruction being inflicted by their government on the people of Ukraine. The people of Russia also have a right to know about the human costs of this senseless war to their own soldiers.” Dan Gainor, Vice President at the Media Research Center, expressed concerns to the Washington Examiner that de-platforming tactics could be used against Americans in the future. “We’re seeing Russia being globally de-platformed across the board, and so it’s impossible not to look at that and think it won’t happen to others in America and elsewhere,” Gainor said. “A group of people, the global mob, have decided to target Russia, but they’re fine with genocides in China. How is that acceptable? There are no rules, and the few that exist keep changing,” he added.