Restriction Is Freedom: Russian Senator’s Orwellian Quote
Russian senator Elena Mizulina wants the press to hold their horses on reporting a recent quote she made about freedom — one that sounded very similar to what George Orwell wrote in his famous novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”.
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‘Restrictions Mean Freedom’ – Mizulina Attacks Press With Restrictions
After several Russian online news outlets began citing Mizulina’s words, she began ordering them not to do that. She argues that journalists are wrenching her words that restrictions are “the biggest freedom of a human” out of their context. Senator Mizulina has now asked a team of lawyers to check over all online outlets which published her words about the essence of freedom.
According to one lawyer’s post, a public affairs office secretary said “Legal experts are now studying the actions of some media outlets who did post the quotation out of context and added some misinformation. We ask media people to double check the information that they take from their colleagues.”
Legal experts working for the Russian government admit that they do not understand why some media want to make a sensation out of her words. Mizulina made the claim while she was at an event titled the Internet Security Forum. Many journalists began to compare what she said with Orwell’s book. Here’s the full quotation:
“Generally, the restriction as a norm of right, which the law is built of, is the biggest freedom of a human. They usually keep telling you that the deputies are restricting something. This is incorrect. The restriction, within its core, is the freedom. The restriction says: you cannot do this thing, but you can do all other things.”
Rights Are Not Freedoms, According to Mizulina
“The right, unlike the restriction, is when you need to act and do it according to the laws. Which means that you need to fill in the papers, carry them to some building, visit the court — so, this is a whole gamma of actions resulting in the fact that you become a slave [of such actions]. To achieve any results using the rights, you need to perform too many things. That’s why we shouldn’t chase only the rights-based regulation.”
Russian Government Has Restricted the Internet Recently
It’s interesting to note that the Russian government has recently approved a set of laws that will affect Internet users. It plans to cut off access Russia-wide, allowing citizens to use world wide web only through government-controlled transmission nodes.
Those enable traffic filtering and Roskomnadzor supervision, with many sites being cut off even when using some VPN services (like the Kaspersky one). Russian special agencies often wonder what every Russian does on the web.
They will also try to seize full control over the SSL encryption that a majority of websites use to protect visitors from hackers and government surveillance.
Western Business Giants Don’t Care
Right now, Facebook, Viber, and a bunch of other western Internet giants have already agreed to store Russian users’ data on local servers. They will also hand over the decryption keys to the authorities.
It is not a big secret that prosecutors have been throwing even housewives and teenagers into prison.
What is happening with Russian Internet freedom? Will the U.S. follow China and Russia? Share your point of view in the comments.
Images by Jeff Fawkes, Roskomsvoboda