The Kremlin augments its digital tools for cracking down on protesters

November 8, 2019

Violent police crackdowns are not the only tactic protesters in Russia can expect, as they have also been subject to an increasing use of digital technologies as tools for intimidation.

As protests ebbed and flow in the lead-up to Russian municipal elections in August, law enforcement authorities detained — and, indeed, continue to detain — protesters for participating in pro-democracy rallies. The use of an aggressive police force is an old tactic for Russian authorities, however, and protesters use of cellular services and social media presented a growing challenge that old tactics alone could not control.