Russia Looking To Mimic China In 'Crowdsourcing' Internet Censorship

from the informants.ru dept

A few years back, we noted that part of the way that China's "Great Firewall" worked was by crowdsourcing censorship. Yes, China made it easy for Chinese internet surfers to spy on others and to also post pro-China propaganda on any forum where someone was negative. Part of the way this worked is that the government would pay people a tiny sum for each thing they did. Over time, the country has continued to expand the program. It sounds like China's neighbors up in Russia thought that was such a brilliant idea that they've decided to copy it. Yes, Russia has apparently launched a "new initiative" to get volunteers to sign up for "The League of Internet Safety." This is officially run by all of the big Russian telco firms and (not surprisingly) has extremely close ties to the government, including having Communications and Press Minister Igor Shchyogolev heading its "board of trustees."

Just as in China, the claim is that these volunteers will just be trying to figure out what "bad stuff" to censor -- starting with child pornography. Of course, that's always a good one to start with. It's when things go further that it gets questionable. And the organization has said that it intends to expand to the point of "policing other negative content." That seems like a pretty broad definition and it's not difficult to imagine how it will be abused to censor all sorts of content that is only "negative" to those in power.
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Filed Under: censorship, china, crowdsourcing, russia


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Funny, considering Russia is one of the major sources of child porn. Perhaps they should go after producers rather than just trying to block stuff off after the fact?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2011 @ 12:42pm

    Bad idea. Awesome name.

    The League of Internet Safety.

    Let that one roll around in your brain for a bit. I'm halfway convinced to paint L.I.S. on the side of my car.

    L.I.S. From the internet, for the internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 10 Feb 2011 @ 1:53pm

    Crowdsourcing censorship is an Oxymoron

    Once the crowd has seen something how can it be censored?
    Isn't it too late?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jake, 10 Feb 2011 @ 2:16pm

    I suppose it's marginally better than having some remote committee of high-ranking civil servants decide the issue...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    laughingdragon, 10 Feb 2011 @ 3:14pm

    YeeHoo! Crowd warfare on the internet.

    We should have a lot of fun in the coming years. We can have crowd wars on the internet. :-) YeeHaa!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2011 @ 7:48pm

    "Russia Looking To Mimic China In 'Crowdsourcing' Internet Censorship"

    The blind leading the blind.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    BuzzCoastin (profile), 10 Feb 2011 @ 11:53pm

    Russia's a liittle late to the game

    WikiLeaks, need I say more? OK...

    The US & it's corporate owners already have a better system, yet it goes unnamed.

    YouTube has algorithms that check for fair use content, which they immediately remove at the corporation's request. YouTube has vigilantes that scour the Tube looking for anything they find offensive & YT will take it down.

    Google reads your email & offers you ads based on the content. Do you really think they don't make that info available to DHS or any other corporate power? The Patriot Act makes it legal.

    The Land of the Free ain't a whole lot freer than the boogie men in Russia & China.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    musically_ut (profile), 11 Feb 2011 @ 1:07am

    Surprised no-one has brought it up yet ...

    In Russia, You censor the Internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2011 @ 1:23pm

    Crowd Sourcing Censorship? Didn't they try that in France between 1789–99 ?

    Didn't go too well if I recollect...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 27 Jun 2011 @ 2:57pm

    Let's crowdsource circumvention

    For those interested, there is a Floss Manual (Free/libre Open Source Software) about the question of internet censorship and the tools to bypass it. Available here : http://htbic.org in 9 languages, among which Russian.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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