Sign in

The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.


In OneZero. More on Medium.

It will come as a surprise to absolutely no one who follows tech or politics that Russian agents are once again intent on using social media to interfere with the upcoming presidential election. In the New York Times, Sheera Frenkel and Julian E. Barnes write that the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency created a website called Peace Data to target progressive U.S. voters through Facebook and Twitter to convince them that Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were too right-wing. …

A ‘Digital Iron Curtain’ is descending over part of the world

Credit: Sergei Savostyanov/Getty Images

Russia’s State Duma just announced that starting next July, all electronics in Russia (including smartphones, computers, and smart TVs) will be required to come preinstalled with apps made by Russian tech firms.

According to Alexander Yushchenko, a Communist Party representative, one contender for preinstallation is Gosuslugi — the Russian government services app. However, a complete list of required apps is yet to be published.

The law does not state that non-Russian software must be banned on devices, just that such apps must be installed alongside Russian software. …

New research highlights a surprising barrier to hacking our democracy: filter bubbles

Credit: NurPhoto/Getty Images

We know that Russian agents have been using social media to try to influence other countries’ politics since at least 2013. We know they’ve successfully posed as Americans to post divisive propaganda on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we know they’ve generated significant engagement on all three platforms. They may have even managed to stage fake political rallies that real Americans attended.

But did they actually change people’s minds? A new study suggests that, at least on Twitter, the answer is no. And while there are limitations to the study’s methods, the authors offer a compelling theory of why that…

Taking a page from Beijing, a new law set to go into effect soon will give Moscow more control over the Russian internet

Credit: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty

Last May, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed what was called the “Stable RuNet law.” The bill sought to reroute Russian web traffic and data through state-controlled points with an aim toward constructing a national domain name system (DNS) that would allow the Russian internet to function even if the country is cut off from foreign cyberinfrastructure. The law required the country’s internet service providers (ISPs) to exclusively go through exchange points located inside the Russian Federation and be approved by Roskomnadzor, the state-controlled telecommunications regulator.

Two of Russia’s leading tech brands — Yandex, the country’s answer to Google, and Mail.Ru…


The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store