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Russia reportedly planning state-controlled 'Sputnik' search engine

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Sputnik replica (Wikimedia Commons)
Sputnik replica (Wikimedia Commons)

In what appears to be a further attempt to censor the internet, Russia is reportedly building its own state-controlled search engine. The report comes from Russian newspaper Vedomosti, which claims that the search engine will be called Sputnik, and is being developed by state-owned telecom Rostelecom. It could potentially become the default search tool for government institutions. The telecom has reportedly invested more than $20 million in the project, and is attempting to lure talent from rival companies with hopes to launch the search engine early next year. However, even if the report is true, the search engine will likely have a tough time cracking the Russian market. Local company Yandex holds more than 60 percent market share in the country, with the likes of Google and other search engines filling out the rest. "With its lack of expertise, the venture is unlikely to meet with success," says VTB analyst Ivan Kim.