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Information Sovereignty and Interference in Domestic Affairs in Russian-American Relations

Abstract

The main aim of this article is to analyze the information factor of the recent crisis in Russian-American relations in the context of mutual accusations of interference in domestic affairs. Ubiquitous spread of information technologies has increasing influence on political processes, especially in  communication between the authorities and civil society. Information security is of special concern in this regard. It has direct impact on national sovereignty, given that interference in domestic affairs affects public support of the elected official during the election campaigns and between them. Domestic affairs interference  is analyzed as a part of the government approach to information regulations. The actuality of the article is also  defined  by  the  fact  that  the  problems are  explored  within  the  framework  of  the  crisis  in  Russian-American relations. American experience of information regulation is of special interest because USA was the epicenter of information revolution. After a period of trial and error, US government adopted a Net Neutrality rule, which guaranteed equal access to producing and consuming information for every American citizen. Net Neutrality approach to information regulation may be extended to other  official American information activities, including foreign policy. In other words, any obstacle that prevents free flow of information is perceived as a threat to national sovereignty. Russian approach is based on more conservative legal traditions. The specifics of Russian approach to information regulation is that security includes not only infrastructure safety, but also the compliance of the contents of information with the adopted standards. The recent Russian legislation establishes strict rules of government regulation of information, including denying access to some pieces of information on the internet, as well as wide government authorities over personal information. The controversies between Russia and United States in defending national sovereignty are especially sharp in the context of mutual accusations in interference in domestic affairs. Obviously both countries imply different violations when  accuse  each  other  of interference. In addition, some actions legal in the United States are illegal in Russia and vice versa.

Keywords:

Russian-American relations; information security; international relations; national sovereignty; information policies; privacy policies; net neutrality; presidential elections; interference with domestic affairs.


Authors: Pavel Sharikov

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