Press release №2033


  • A proposal of the Russian Security Council to create a separate Internet for the BRICS nations is supported by 58% of Russians
  • 49% of Russians consider that it will help to keep the data of the Russian citizens safe and to prevent possible hacking attacks

Russians like the idea to create an independent Internet for the BRICS countries. 

MOSCOW, January 29, 2018. The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of a survey devoted to the development of the Internet in Russia and abroad.

Generally, every second Russian (52%) considers that the development of Internet as a world space is useful. Thirteen percent support the idea to create a separate Internet within the boundaries of several states. Apart from neighbors such as Belarus and Kazakhstan, one of Russia’s key partners is China. About one-quarter (23%) opt for local Internet limited to Russia’s boundary.

Fifty-eight percent of Russians support a separate Internet within the boundaries of the BRICS states (29% oppose the idea).

As to the advantages of the proposal, half of Russians cite safety of personal data (49%), better protection against hacking attacks or prevention of attacks (49%). On the other hand, 41% of respondents are afraid of restrictions accessing certain global network resources.

Interestingly, today many Russians are rethinking the role of the Internet as a global information space: whereas in 2000 two-thirds of respondents (64%) said that the development of the Internet was advantageous, in 2018 this share is less than 46%.

The VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on January 12-13, 2018. The survey involved 2,000 Russians aged 18 and over, and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.2%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

The 2000 and 2013 results are based on household surveys.

In your opinion, what form of the Internet development would be beneficial for Russia?  (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents  Aged  18-24 Aged  25-34 Aged  35-44 Aged  45-59 Aged  60 and more Those who use the Internet almost every day Those who use the Internet several times a week, a month Those who use the Internet occasionally or never use it
Internet uniting the entire world 52 68 58 53 54 38 63 46 29
Internet within the boundaries of Russia and several other states   13 9 15 14 12 13 13 15 11
Internet within the boundaries of Russia only  23 20 23 26 21 27 18 29 30
Don’t know 12 3 4 7 13 22 6 10 30
In your opinion, which countries should Russia join to create its own Internet? Up to 3 counties  (open-ended question, not more than three answers, % of those who support a separate Internet within the boundaries of Russia and several other states; answers by at least 2% of respondents)
  % respondents
Belarus 30
China 29
Kazakhstan 24
Germany 19
France 11
Japan 9
Great Britain 7
Armenia 6
India 5
Italy 4
Ukraine 4
Turkey 3
Every country 2
Greece 2
Kyrgyzstan 2
Uzbekistan 2
Australia 2
Spain 2
Canada 2
Czech Republic 2
Other  24
Don’t know 21
The BRICS countries include Brasilia, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The Russian Council is discussing the creation of a separate Internet for several states. Do you personally approve/disapprove of this initiative? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents Moscow and St.Petersburg Million cities More than 500 ths 100–500 ths Less than 100 ths Rural area
Likely to approve 58 48 59 58 58 59 61
Likely to disapprove 29 39 33 27 31 26 25
Don’t know 13 13 8 15 11 15 14
Why do you approve of a separate Internet connection for Russia and other BRICS countries?   (open-ended question, not more than three answers, % of those who approve of initiative)
  % respondents
Integration, development of cooperation between the countries 15
Free communication / integration of people  / freedom of speech 14
To become separated from the western countries (USA, NATO); no propaganda will be possible 12
Exchange of information, knowledge, experiences 8
They are our allies 7
More complete information / no restrictions 6
 Data safety 5
Independence 4
No harmful information (porn, ads, viruses)   4
For common good 3
It is important to have a separate internet / an alternative 3
Control 1
I trust the government / the president 1
It is important for the country 1
Other  4
Don’t know 27
Why do you disapprove of a separate Internet connection for Russia and other BRICS countries? (open-ended question, not more than three answers, % of those who disapprove of initiative)
  % of respondents
Restriction on communicating with the rest of the world / social isolation 15
There must be a place for the world wide web 12
No point 11
Too much garbage in the internet 10
Restriction on information, propaganda, totalitarianism 9
There must be no restriction  / internet must be independent 7
Russia should not unite with the BRICS countries   5
Internet must be Russian only 4
There will be an opportunity to communicate with people 4
I am against the Internet 3
There will not be development 3
Extra costs 1
Other  4
Don’t know 26
To what extent do you agree/disagree with the following statements concerning a separate Internet connection for the BRICS countries?  (closed-ended question, one answer per each line, % of all respondents)
Completely disagree Rather disagree Don’t know Rather agree Completely agree
Separate internet  connection will help to prevent possible hacking attacks from other countries and international organizations 13 13 25 27 22
Separate internet  connection will help to secure persona data of Russians 11 12 28 28 21
Separate internet  connection will restrict Russians’ access to the world wide web 10 17 32 23 18
Separate internet  connection partially  overlapping the world wide web will ensure the access to the Internet in case of  Internet failure   6 10 55 19 10
In your opinion, does the Internet uniting the world bring more good or harm to the society? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  2000 2013 2018
More good 64 53 46
More harm 36 24 39
Don’t know 0 23 15

Note: Using materials from the site or, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory!

  Results of our study
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