Russian regulators threaten to shut down Twitter, Facebook and anyone else they damn well please

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on May 16, 2014

From The News Desk

For the past few months, Pando has been reporting on the contrast between whistleblower Edward Snowden's rhetoric on freedom of speech and the reality on the ground in his adopted Russian home.

Today, the dissident's dissonance got even more difficult as the Wall St Journal quoted a "top Russian regulator" proposing to shut down Twitter and Facebook in the country.

We do not see major risks [in blocking Twitter and Facebook],” Maxim Ksenzov, deputy head of Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, told the Izvestiya daily.

If at any given moment we estimate that the consequences of ‘turning off’ social networks will be of less significance than the harm done by the non-constructive position of the management of the international companies, then we will do what we are obligated to do by law. In other words, the moment foreigners stop being useful to Russia, the authorities won't hesitate to invoke Russian law to shut them down. That quote has to make uncomfortable reading for one Edward Snowden.