Russia Wants To Censor The Internet

from the notice-a-pattern? dept

Get the feeling that folks in Russia are a bit jealous of China’s Great Firewall? Suddenly, we’re seeing lots of proposals that seem to be designed to limit what folks can do online. Just recently we wrote about efforts to require WiFi users to register with the government, and now Russian prosecutors are trying to extend “anti-extremism” laws to the internet. The laws apparently forbid newspapers from publishing “extremist material,” at the risk of being shut down completely. Prosecutors are hoping that an internet version of the law would require ISPs to block access to any sites that include “extremist” content. Of course, extremist content is defined rather broadly. It seems pretty clear that this is just an attempt to try to stifle speech the government doesn’t like.

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Comments on “Russia Wants To Censor The Internet”

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34 Comments
coolridge (profile) says:

a bad lesson for the world

This is what happens when the world lets one country get away with it without any repurcussions at all. The corporations and the politicians support China’s efforts by their very lack of initiative in doing anything at all or taking a hard stance. Now Russia will do it and sure, maybe there will indeed be more to follow. Frightening.

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You don’t get the point we are trying to get at.

There is no definition of “extremist”. They can make it mean whatever they want it to mean. Just because they haven’t used it yet doesn’t mean they won’t or should even have the option.

Now this is Russia not the US so they should be able to govern their country as they see fit.

AlexE says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I agree with Anonymous Coward. The story about Russia is going to make everyone register every Wi-Fi device is truly bs. You have or rather obtain a license for Wi-Fi hot spot that charges money for access. For all other cases you don’t register anything. Mike please get all the facts right. Regarding extremism, Russia has definition for it in law books regarding it and I wouldn’t mind if government will shutdown a few websites. In case someone will use the power for different purpose the Streisand effect will kick in. So far fair game to me.

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

With a little googleing I found
this
from a UN consultant firm regarding the way anti-extremist is defined vaguely.

Another


Here
is the main website of the Federal arm responsible for the legislation. I don’t speak Russian and I don’t see an English option. But if you do I am sure you can find the law and read their definition.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Not disagreeing…but it seemed like Clinton went to far more places in the name of peace keeping and meals on wheels than either Bush did…and he was only applauded for it. Bosnia, haiti, etc… I dont think you can have it both ways. Either disband the UN who wants to govern the world or accept a world where the strongest survive.

brguzz says:

situation in W-Europe

At least in Germany censorship happens since years. At ISP level websites considered as inappropriate have to be blocked. You may find more searching for ‘Jürgen Büssow’ and ‘Sperrungsverfügung’. To see Russia following such a bad example might be considered as understandable. Both in Russia and China blocked content can be easily obtained using proxy servers. Such knowledge is widely dispersed in both countries.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Is it any difference between this and the story the other week about the UK Travel Agent advertising “CUBAN” vactions for Europeans that the U.S. Gov had his websites shut down because the sites where registerd by a U.S. web regestry (not hosted in the U.S.)?

Not really. And we were equally bothered by that:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080305/012547444.shtml

If there is any difference, though, it’s that the prohibition there was much more defined. “Extremism” leaves open quite a bit of definition, allowing the gov’t to effective censor what they want.

pgraves (user link) says:

Not my problem

If a man is beaten up in front of my house then I either try to step in to stop it, or if it looks really dangerous I call the police.

If someone draws a line across my front garden and says “this is another country over here”, then they can beat him all they like, its no longer my problem.

If a clique of gangsters successfully takes charge of a country, and then subverts its laws in order to continue to exploit its people and resources indefinitely for their own gain (Of course this could never happen could it), then because its not my country, its not my problem.

Are we not at some level brothers and sisters? What is the bizarre and oh-so-convenient delimitation of a “country” that allows us to wash our hands of all involvement with the affairs of the people next door?

And No I’m not a fan of W.

The Awnser says:

WIKI “Extremism is a term used to describe the actions or ideologies of individuals or groups outside the perceived political center of a society; or otherwise claimed to violate common moral standards.”

The point about “extremism” is that the definition in its application in law, can easily be seen by the courts as a matter for the courts. Something can be extreme and harmless or extreme and harmful. The mere use of the word “extremism” is actually laying the framework for clamping down on free speech. i.e. censorship. The term is really inappropriate for the sort of application they seek. Interpretation of the word “extremism” can be so unclear and subjective, that its application in the courts can be used in a draconian way if they so choose with little accountability. Its such a cumbersome term because you basically have to be able to form a judgment of what’s normal and what’s not normal and what’s far from normal for it to be considered to be extreme. I think the term clouds the interpretation of law and fails to provide adequate accountability in its application.

I think the term “extremism” should not be used as its just confusing to society and it plays into he hands of those that have the power to administer the law, rather than those that wish to abide by the law. I think whatever the crime, it must be specifically identified and clear cut. For example you cannot incite by way of verbal or written threat, what might be deemed a criminal act.

As indicated, one can have extreme views on all sorts of issues and be perfectly law abiding in application of those views or alternatively they can allow their views to commit a criminal offence. Conversely, you can be very normal but also commit a criminal act. i.e in the context that many acts of crime are not unusual and in fact are normal and not extreme, even though they may be illegal. In civil law the mere act of driving through a red light is not unusual and thus not extreme, but it is a breach of the civil laws of the land. In some cities stabbings and muggings are not unusual and thus not extreme, yet indeed they are criminal. Not sure how the Russian law works though as in Western law based on the British common law system, in cases of subjectivity, its usually what’s considered reasonable by the average person.

Thus I think the term “extremism” is inappropriate in its application with regard to administration of law and just provides the grounds and environment that allow the law to be used for unlawful and uncivil purposes by those that govern the application of law, rather than work in the peoples best interests.

sigve (user link) says:

ITS REAL BAD AND SAD..

We have heard about “russian” we allways have talk about Russian like they have a bad management.. and now they prove it again.. and again.

I know there are many russian ppl who want a website like : http://www.jyderup.com

We can give them this free.. out of russia.But its not easy,cause the goverment control every thing.. and how can the buisness in russian grow serious if it like that?

Take care and have a nice weekend

Sigve

used caravans (profile) says:

Help me for that

killroy has been engaged with his adornment n bunk, that untold I experience. he works posts every now and then on psychostick forums. I’ll bet petey has finally hopeless it and is out on a lucre fling. he never fought with anybody, called anybody names, or anything. he’s gotta be all confined up. I charge things and vocalization every now and then. keeps me from earnings group. although quitting vaporisation has me a lil solon uptight than wonted.
==================

used caravans (profile) says:

Help me for that

killroy has been engaged with his adornment n bunk, that untold I experience. he works posts every now and then on psychostick forums. I’ll bet petey has finally hopeless it and is out on a lucre fling. he never fought with anybody, called anybody names, or anything. he’s gotta be all confined up. I charge things and vocalization every now and then. keeps me from earnings group. although quitting vaporisation has me a lil solon uptight than wonted.
==================
robert
used caravans

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