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Europe To protect 'digital sovereignty,' Russia threatens to block Google, Facebook

Russia, like most countries, is struggling to balance public desire for privacy with the government's interest in monitoring potentially criminal activity. But the Kremlin's approach strikes observers as too heavy-handed.

Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Russia's freewheeling cyber-universe has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and now has more than 80 million users, or about 60 percent of the population. But in the name of "digital sovereignty," authorities are stepping up efforts to corral it, part of a worldwide race between galloping online technology and the desires of law enforcement to keep tabs on all that activity.