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The Russian Government Has Started Censoring The Internet

The Russian Government Has Started Censoring The Internet

by Brad MerrillApril 1, 2013

We all know that countries like China and Iran are all about Internet censorship, but now there’s a new Big Brother blocking content: Russia.

The New York Times reports that the Russian government has been making heavy use of a new law to “block Internet content that it deems illegal or harmful to children.” The country’s communications reglators have requested that Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube remove certain “objectionable” material. So far, only YouTube has resisted.

The child protection law, effective as of November, allows a Russian regulatory agency known as Roskomnadzor to blacklist “illegal” websites promoting suicide, drug use, “extremist” propaganda, or other content contrary to the Russian government.

According to the Times, Facebook removed a page that Roskomnadzor had flagged in connection to suicide. The social network had until Sunday to comply at the risk of being blocked in Russia, but Facebook agreed that the page was inappropriate and removed it.

Twitter also removed five posts last month that appeared to be related to illegal drugs and suicide, the Times reports.

Neither company has yet commented on the story.

Unlike the others, YouTube has resisted the takedown requests. It did eventually comply with Roskomnadzor’s order to block a video that allegedly promoted suicide—but it later sued, arguing that the video was intended for entertainment.

About The Author
Brad Merrill
Brad Merrill is the founder and former editor of VentureBreak.