Russia Implements Internet Censorship Law

Published Tuesday, April 02, 2013 -

Last November 2012 a new law was passed in Russia that freedom loving internet users are not happy with. The new law signed by President Vladimir Putin will allow the government to block web locations it considers harmful to the citizens of Russia. Critics of the law say that it will be used to block opposition websites and gives the government a method to blacklist any site they choose, such as those presented by political extremists.

The law is called “Single Register” and will eliminate inconsistencies in the regional blocking attempts previously found to be problem. The Agency for the Supervision of Information Technology, Communications and Mass Media known as Roskomnadzor will not only be able to block sites, but also data submitted by the Interior Ministry, the Federal Antidrug Agency and the Federal Service for the Supervision of Consumer Rights and Public Welfare.

Jeffrey Mankoff, from the Center for Strategic and International Studies said "They're trying to lash out in ways to shore up what they think are their weak points,” Mankoff continued, "Putin's in power for at least another six years, but what he wants to do over the course of those six years seems completely undefined," The implications this new law that gives the government control over the internet may impact the online gambling industry in Russia. Gambling has been bans in Russia except for defined gaming zones that are in far flung sectors of the country. Thus far, the government has been just blocking material posted by Russian-speaking users and not any political content.

The use of Twitter and Facebook in Russia is restricted to content that does not present harmful content to Russian users. Roskomnadzor spokesperson Vladimir Pikov commented, “We regard Twitter as a hosting provider that has no access to the black list. If we discover illegal content on their website, we notify them. This procedure will remain in place,”

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