Google’s announcement that it is working to reduce the presence of Russian media in its news feeds has been slammed by lawmakers and political commentators as an act of aggression which will have a global impact on the freedom of speech and thought. “This is an open form of information warfare waged right now – a bombardment, a direct aggression” against the Russian news outlets, Andrey Svintsov, deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee for Information Policy, Information Technologies and Communications, told RT.

The lawmaker explained that tweaking search results for the news category would cut off the global readership that remains interested in the Russian position on global events, calling it a “powerful blow” to the freedom of speech. “We as MPs should think about… limiting [the use of] the Google search engine, as well as certain social networks belonging to this holding in Russia,” Svintsov said. Meanwhile, the head of the Russian Upper House Commission for Information Policy, Senator Aleksey Pushkov, also wondered whether Google should be “de-ranked” in Russia in a tit-for-tat response. READ MORE