MOSCOW, August 28 (RAPSI) – The digital sovereignty of Russia needs to be protected since the policies pursued by Western IT giants as to moderation of content pose risks to users, according to First Deputy Chair of Russia’s Civic Chamber Commission on Development of the Information Community Alexander Malkevich.

Such companies as Google and Facebook, contrary to all their declarations about protection of the freedom of speech, actively intervene in activities of media outlets and bloggers they see as undesirable ones by removing the content they publish or block their channels, the civic activist alleges.

Malkevich believes that Western corporations arbitrary interpret Russian legislation and fail to comply with it; therefore, it is needed to develop an adequate legislative response, he said addressing the roundtable organized to discuss a threat Western high tech giants pose to the sovereignty of the state.

It is needed that representative offices of Western platforms with a certain number of Russian users were established in Russia, the civic activists added citing an answer of Google to a letter of the Presidential Human Rights Council, in which, he said, the corporation implied that it was not in its competence to deal with any issues and problems. Western corporations, according to Malkevich, are in Russia only to earn money and it is unacceptable to let them cash in on Russian citizens, whose rights they do not respect and on which they infringe on.

Russia needs to pursue a most protectionist policy with respect to national startups to become alternative platforms for Russian resources in order to give them state protection and ensure that they have opportunities to exercise the right to the freedom of speech.