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Putin Calls Internet ‘CIA Project,’ Vows to Fight for Russian Influence Online

Russian President and 2005 Super Bowl champion Vladimir Putin told a media forum in St. Petersburg Thursday that the internet was a “CIA project.”

Putin said that the series of tubes began as a CIA project and “is still developing as such,” adding that Russia needed to “fight for its influence” on the web.

The comments come as the Kremlin tightens its grip on the internet within Russia. Just this week Russia’s parliament just passed a law requiring social networks to be Russian-based and save users’ information, while the founder of VKontakte, essentially Russia’s Facebook, quit and fled the country over Russia’s increasing control of the company.

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In addition, Putin’s comments follow just one week after he favorably contrasted Russia’s surveillance efforts with the United States’ NSA-run programs, in response to a question NSA leaker Edward Snowden “instantly regretted” asking.

[h/t Associated Press]

[Image via screengrab]

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