February 22, 2011

Russia Blames Google Executive For Egyptian Uprising

In an interview published on Tuesday, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's deputy blamed Google Inc for stirring up trouble in the revolution that ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.

"Look what they have done in Egypt, those highly-placed managers of Google, what manipulations of the energy of the people took place there," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin told the Wall Street Journal.

Sechin gave no further details on his concerns.

Google executive Wael Ghonim became an unlikely hero of the uprising in Egypt, which led to Mubarak's deposition.

Russia's Internet is remarkably free and is also often the home to scathing criticism of Putin, President Dmitry Medvedev and the entire Russian elite.

Russia resisted placing restrictions on the Internet, but analysts say there are a group of hardliners close to Putin who would like to impose controls similar to China's.

On Saturday, Chinese President Hu Jintao called for stricter government management of the Internet and warned top Communist Party leaders that China was facing depending social conflicts that would test the party's ability to maintain firm control.


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