US government-backed company Lantern works to build an "unbreakable" internet in Russia

Coverage Type: 

As Russia makes preparations to possibly disconnect from the global internet in a bid to control the narrative around the invasion of Ukraine, Lantern is rushing to lay the final pieces of an unbreakable network that the Kremlin won’t be able to take down. The company has seen staggering growth inside Russia in the last four weeks for its app that allows users to bypass restrictions the Kremlin has put in place on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But now the company is building something even more robust, an internal peer-to-peer network that will allow dissenting voices to continue to upload and share content even if the Kremlin pulls the plug on the internet. Within the next week, the network will be fully operational, allowing opposition voices to use the Lantern app to post content like videos from protests or updates on the war in Ukraine directly to the Lantern network. The app, which has in the past received funding from the US government via the State Department’s Open Technology Fund, has become a huge hit in Russia in recent weeks. Digital rights groups such as Access Now have been recommending Lantern, along with other anti-censorship tools like Tor and TunnelBear, to people in Russia seeking to get access to unfiltered information.

Meet the Secretive US Company Building an ‘Unbreakable’ Internet Inside Russia