Speaking in an interview with the WSJ, Russian deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said: “Look what they have done in Egypt, those highly-placed managers of Google, what manipulations of the energy of the people took place there.”
We assume Sechin was referring to Google executive, Wael Ghonim, who became a key figure in the Egyptian escapade.
Ghonim was in Cairo for a conference when protests broke out over the country’s failing economic policy, government corruption, and the 30-year reign of President Hosni Mubarak. He first made headlines in late January when reports emerged that he had gone missing.
Google later confirmed that this was the case and he quickly became a spokesperson for the April 6 youth opposition group in Egypt before being released after more than a week.
Being part of Google, the exec wasn’t shy in coming forward and telling the world that he was the one who had created the Facebook group that has been instrumental in the ongoing movement in the country.
Although Sechin did not elaborate any further, his comments may begin to stir up questions about what role the internet has in both Russia and in the Arab world.
It’s no secret some Arab states, previously including Egypt and Libya, censor the material their citizens can access, but Russia in contrast has a fairly relaxed policy, even though it is used to moan about the head honchos in politics. This, could however change given Sechin’s views and Russian citizens could find themselves behind a wall.