What if Putin agrees to Xi’s plan to block YouTube?

No Youtube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Western social media does not go beyond China’s digital wall, which was established by the Great Firewall, the term derived from an article in Wired magazine that refers to China’s cyberspace security project, Project Golden Shield. There is even an agency that monitors what happens on the internet beyond China’s borders: the China Cyberspace Administration (Cac), the security agency for the regulation, censorship, and control of the internet. But what if the same restrictions were imposed by other countries perhaps close to Beijing? A response may come from Russia, where Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin recently met with his “friend” Xi Jinping at a summit that redefined a new axis between China and Russia.

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During a face-to-face meeting, which took place against the backdrop of talks between the two leaders to propose a new multipolar order, Putin agreed with Xi on a joint project to block YouTube in Russia. The news comes from the Russian portal Octagon, citing sources familiar with the story. After the visit of the Chinese president, a group of 41 Chinese cyber threat experts arrived in the Russian capital, the site near the Kremlin reported. Chinese experts, along with their Russian counterparts, were tasked with analyzing and drafting a technical “roadmap” to completely block YouTube in Russia. According to Octagon, some of the technology will be provided by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, while the rest will benefit from those developed by the Russians and Belarusians. “According to the schedule, YouTube blocking will be possible in the fourth quarter of 2023,” Octagon says.

And there are those in Russia who are already preparing for a change of pace. The Russian social network VKontakte is already preparing to block YouTube. According to Forbes, citing sources in the Russian telecommunications industry, the company began installing servers on providers’ networks to speed up downloading of video content. It is a measure that VKontakte considers necessary because if YouTube is blocked, the Russian channel will experience a huge increase in user traffic.

So, like in China, those who want to use social media will have to take advantage of VPN (Virtual Private Network) which allows you to create a private network to circumvent censorship. But the Kremlin’s decision could turn into a boomerang. If Russia blocks the social network, YouTube should delete all Russian and Russian propaganda channels. In the more than 400 days of war in Ukraine, YouTube has essentially become a key platform for disseminating the pro-Putin narrative in Russia and around the world. And if Moscow moves in that direction, cyberspace will be another place where the claims of a multipolar world made by Xi and Putin become more tangible.

Source: Today IT