BBC moves to dark web and shortwave radio to give outside news to Russian people amid wartime crackdown

11 months ago · 0 comments

Russians are going underground to keep abreast of any news from outside Kremlin-controlled sources

The BBC is trying new and old processes to give Russians access to news from around the outside world in the wake of a Kremlin crackdown on media.

It is just one of a number of western news sources – including social media platforms – being accessed through the so-called “deep web”, a hidden version of the internet which can allow users to surf anonymously.

“The BBC is doing what it has been doing for a long time– making independent news available to people, often in places where agencies are trying to prohibit access,” a spokesman for the broadcaster said.

“So the BBC will use all the tools at its disposal – whether that was a shortwave in the past or using circumvention tools now.”

Vladimir Putin has in recent months placed a digital barricade between Russia and the rest of the globe, with major western websites such as Twitter, Netflix, Facebook and media outlets blocked from view in the country, in addition to strict censorship of internal media.

But increasingly, Russians are finding their own way onto the dark web in a bid to evade the climbing censorship of the Putin regime.

The number of Russian users connecting to the deep web through Tor bridges, a deliberately obscured route to the dark net, has increased by almost 60 per cent since the invasion of Ukraine began.