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THE MEDIA AND THE INTERNET      Here there are 3 distinct periods:  before 1918, 1918-1991,  and 1991-present.  Before 1918 there were only newspapers,  and plenty of them.  The Tsar’s censors kept an eye on socialist  journalism but there were no real restrictions, since so few  people were literate.   1918-1991 was strictly-controlled news  and propaganda within the confines of the USSR and its vassal  states.  (*KEY*) Propaganda was a serious weapon which was  NOT used in foreign countries but rather against THE SOVIET  PEOPLE in an attempt to justify its policies.  This embraced  films, radio, and television as well as the arts.  Less  constrained/restricted media began in, and slowly progressed  from, the 1950’s with the journal SAMIZDAT and with radio  access to the foreign-based   BBC and Radio free Europe.   1991-present has seen independent media explode in all forms  but the State had taken back complete control of radio and  television by 2006. As in the USSR, today almost all  newspapers are printed but once every 1-2 weeks.  Russia is  among the top 10 most dangerous places in the world for  journalists.      About 30% together have some form of internet access,  broken down by:  all of the rich and middle class=7% and some  of the poor,=23 %; access to information for the latter group is  much more limited.  As in China, The Russian Government  views SKYPE, Facebook, You-tube, etc., as threats to national  security and thus may limit their use or eliminate them entirely.   The Government also views untappable  computer telephone  use as another potential  threat to land-line use, as more and  more people have already abandoned  their wired systems for  mobile phones---the entire wired telephone monopoly/wire-  tapping system is under threat.  Also,  as in China, no individual  or organization has any right to computer/software ownership  protection, so the government can remove any computer  system from anyone, any entity, anywhere, at any time if it  desires.  Because of these and other concerns like hacking,  many western elements of the web don’t function well in Russia.  (*KEY*) In 1861, Russia set up the world’s first internationally-  focused organization dedicated to spying and espionage.   Today, Russia maintains this leadership, being the first  Government to establish and fully subsidize aggressive,  purposeful  hacking  programs  against all world governments.   So for Russia, the internet is a mixed blessing from a western  perspective….