About 15,300 people demonstrated for Internet freedom on Sunday in Moscow, according to White Counter, a group that monitors the number of attendees at rallies.
At least 28 people were detained in relation to the event organized by Russia’s Libertarian Party, according to OVD-Info, a web portal that tracks political repression in the country.
Russian lawmakers last month passed a draft law to create a “sovereign Internet” that would continue to function if the country is cut off from foreign servers. Critics said the bill risked handing the government extensive powers to censor online content.
Russia’s domestic Internet was largely unregulated in the early years of President Vladimir Putin’s government, as the Kremlin focused on gaining control over the most influential media outlets, then in broadcasting and print. However, the government has gradually tightened control in recent years, citing the need to fight terrorism and cyber threats.
© Copyright 2023 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.