A new iron curtain is descending across Russia’s Internet

Advocates of an open, globally connected Internet long have worried that a major country or region would break away from the Web amid geopolitical strife, dashing hopes of a seamless network capable of uniting a fractious world.

Little more than a week into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world is coming closer to that unsettling prophecy than ever before.

Moscow’s censors on Friday banned Facebook and throttled other American social media services. Microsoft banned sales to Russians, following a similar move by Apple. And a leading American conduit of Internet data, Cogent Communications, severed ties with its Russian clients to prevent its networks from being used for propaganda or cyberattacks aimed at beleaguered Ukrainians.

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