Russia’s state-controlled telecoms group Rostelecom plans to launch a new internet search engine named after the Sputnik satellite.
The new state-backed search engine will have to take on leading companies Yandex, with 62 percent of the market as well as Google and Mail.Ru.
The url of the new site will be www.sputnik.ru after the first man-made satellite, which was launched in October 1957.
Newspaper Vedomosti said the new search engine may have to be used by state institutions as a default tool. The newspaper also stated in its report that the project had cost $20 million so far and has already indexed about half of the Russian internet.
In the past the Russian government has made several moves to inrease its control over the internet including blacklisting sites that distribute content such as advocacy of suicide, drug abuse and child pornography.
Russia has the largest internet audience in Europe.