How Donald Trump’s Internet policy could benefit Russia

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Reporting has uncovered extensive ties between Donald Trump and Russia. Trump has made little secret of his personal admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he has praised as having "great control over his country." The Republican presidential nominee even appeared to openly solicit Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton's e-mails — to the point that critics have accused him of treason. So it may seem surprising to hear the Trump campaign suddenly change its tone on Russia over an obscure battle on Internet policy.

Taking a swipe at Russia's support for Internet censorship, a Trump policy adviser warned Sept 21 against giving the Kremlin too much say in how the Internet should be governed. The statement reads like a snub to Putin — that is, until you realize that Trump's own policy could wind up giving the Russian leader precisely what he wants. According to critics, Trump's call to stop the transition would actually wind up helping Putin rather than undermining the Russian leader. "If the US is forced to abort the transition now it would play right into the hands of authoritarian states," said Milton Mueller, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "'Look,' they will say, 'the US wants to control the Internet. Why can’t we?'"


How Donald Trump’s Internet policy could benefit Russia