Russian government blocking some Internet content

Apr 1, 2013
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There are number of places around the world where the government blocks all sorts of Internet content to prevent citizens from accessing things deemed inappropriate. While no one would be particularly surprised that Internet content is being filtered in the Middle East or in some parts of Asia, you might be surprised to learn that some content is being blocked in Russia.

Since Russia is no longer a communist nation, it may come as a bit of surprise to some that the Russian government has been making use of the new law that gives it the power to block certain Internet content within the country. The new law allows the Russian government to block content that it deems in illegal or harmful to children. Reports indicate that communications regulators within Russia have asked Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to remove content deemed objectionable.

The only website of those three that reportedly resisted the Russian government efforts to forcibly remove content was YouTube. However, YouTube did remove a video that Russian officials objected to that the Russians felt promoted suicide. YouTube did file a lawsuit in a Russian court objecting to the forced blockage of the video.

The video in question is reportedly designed to show how to fake wounds using makeup materials and a razor blade. YouTube says that this particular video is intended for entertainment and should not be restricted. Supporters of the Russian law say that it allows Russian authorities to control child pornography and content promoting drug use are suicide. However, those who oppose the law say that it opens the door to increased Internet censorship.

[via New York Times]


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