Russia Plans Internet Censorship Bill (For The Children!); Russian Wikipedia Blacks Out In Protest

from the stop-censorship dept

Over in Russia, they’re preparing some new internet legislation that would censor the internet using the typical bogeymen. The claim from supporters is that the law is to block access to information on drugs, suicide and child porn — all to protect the children. The way it works is with a giant blacklist, that I’m sure won’t be abused at all (yes, that’s sarcasm). We’re talking about a country that has abused copyright law to go after critics and which has a bit of a… er… reputation for government officials abusing power to get what they want. In fact, some are already pointing out that the wording in the bill is really vague, such that it can be used to block any site dubbed as an “extremist” site.

And it’s not just the human-reviewed blacklist that’s at issue. The bill will also require “a special automatic system that will block websites containing ‘prohibited’ information.'” Because I’m sure that’ll work even better…

We’ve noted other Russian legislation in the past, but this bill seems to go a hell of a lot further in creating a massive censorship tool for the Russian government.

The Russian Wikipedia is blacking out its site in protest, reminding many of the SOPA blackouts of Wikipedia in the US, though it’s also worth noting that the Italian Wikipedia did a similar blackout even before the big SOPA blackout. It’s good to see people speaking out and realizing that they don’t have to just accept it when a government sweeps away their rights online. Who knows if this will have much of an impact, but getting more attention on the issue is a good start.

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Companies: wikipedia

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Comments on “Russia Plans Internet Censorship Bill (For The Children!); Russian Wikipedia Blacks Out In Protest”

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20 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

So, if a teenager in Russia is thinking about suicide, and tries to look up suicide help lines on the Internet, the help line sites will all be censored for mentioning suicide. Which might cause the teenager to give up all hope and just commit suicide?

Yes, that certainly sounds like a good way to ‘protect the children’, have overly broad filters that will prevent from getting the help they need, simply because the help sites, gasp, talk about the thing they want to help protect the child from!

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

.Why so much surprise????

Ok let’s stop acting like we are surprised whenever we read articles like this. Let’s make it simple. EVERY government in the world would like to censor the internet.

Easy access and free flow of information directly oppose the things that our rulers would like to keep hidden. The internet is disrupting the political business model and so naturally the politicians are going to fight back with every tool at their disposal.

Laws will be written to
1. protect the children
2. stop the terrorists
3. protect jobs
4. protect the economy
5. protect minorities
6. protect morality ( love that one )

They need to write those laws to stop the internet from disrupting their business model.

Andrew says:

Re: Re:

this is being done simply to find out who is making what detrimental comments about Putin.

These days, the answer is almost everyone (except those who don’t find it worth their time). So the real intent is still in the boondoggle area. Russia is quite successful in imitating these politicaly correct Western boondoggles – from consumer protection to bank deposit insurance – that purport to “protect the little guy” but result in well-fed compliance industries and special interests.

Anonymous Coward says:

This shit is absurd these people do not need anymore power.

We all seen how well the censors work on YouTube!! Oh wait no they don’t they use it for their person agendas and knock down countless videos they have absolutely no right to.

A blacklist well we’ve also seen how professional they’ve been with that was well. Just look at Dajaz1 they we’re treated with utmost respect and they were innocent till proven guilty.

BZzZZZTT MAMAS WRONG AGAIN They were fucked over for no good reason for a year..

Tony MC (profile) says:

It’s not even remotely SOPA, but damn, the way some politicians talk about it… it sure as hell reminds me of something… Almost a direct quote from one of the politicians:

“Wikipedia should not worry, because this legislation will only target websites that are deemed malicious. There is nothing to fear, unless Wikipedia is acting on behalf of drug lords’ and paedophiles’ lobby”

No kidding, word for word.

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