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Vlad the Putin is definitely feeling his oats these days. In addition to his pot stirring in Ukraine he has now thrown down the gauntlet on internet security.

Putin renews fears of web breakup after calling internet a 'CIA project' Russian president's remark fans idea that has gained ground in Germany, Brazil and elsewhere after Edward Snowden's revelations

Vladimir Putin gave his clearest signal yet that he aims to break up the global nature of the internet when he branded the network a "CIA project" on Thursday.

The Russian president told a media conference in St Petersburg that America's overseas espionage agency had originally set up the internet and was continuing to develop it.

Putin has long hinted that he wants a Russian-run alternative. The idea of breaking up the internet has gained ground in Germany, Brazil and elsewhere round the world in the light of the revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden about the extent to which the US National Security Agency has infiltrated Facebook, Skype and other social media.

Snowden's critics say that an unintended consequences of his revelations has been to undermine the global nature of the web as well as playing into the hands of dictators. His supporters counter that it is the NSA rather than Snowden that has damaged trust in the service.

Perhaps the NSA is at risk of killing the goose that has laid the golden for so many US tech companies. However, Russia seems to be in competition to be the nation that produces the world's leading supply of hackers. Would Putin's isolated internet cut them off from the credit cards of the world?

This does seem to be more than just Putin's bluster. The NSA story isn't going to go away. Even if all the Snowden material eventually gets published, there new revelations of US overreach coming from elsewhere. It should be interesting to see what kind of alternative network alliances might develop. People would have as much interest in isolating themselves from the UK as from the US since the two have been working hand in glove. That would seem to let out some sort of Euronet.

 

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