Russia Blacklists Cultural Wiki Without Explanation, Site Just Moves To Circumvent Block

from the what-a-waste-of-effort dept

Techdirt has been following the worsening censorship situation in Russia for some time. Back in July, the country's parliament passed a new law ostensibly designed to "protect the children". It took only a couple of weeks before it was used to shut down the whole of LiveJournal for part of the country. That was apparently because a neo-Nazi blog had been found among the thousands of others hosted there -- an indication of just how blunt this new instrument of censorship is.

Now another popular site in Russia has been taken down, as Rick Falkvinge reports:

This Monday, the Russian Government placed a Russian Wikipedia clone on a censorship blacklist. The Russian Government maintains such a kill switch for "harmful sites" – motivated with protecting children from drug use, child porn, or suicide methods. In reality, as usual, give anybody such a switch and they’ll shut off things they plain don’t like.

The Russian Wikipedia clone Lurkomore has long been a Wikipedia-on-steroids in Russia. With the notability requirement for articles relaxed, Lurkomore had become an "encyclopedia of contemporary culture, folklore, and subcultures, as well as everything else".
Presumably there is something among the thousands of articles there that someone, somewhere has taken a dislike to, causing the entire site to be blocked. However, an article on the site Lenta.ru (original in Russian) says that the people behind Lurkomore still don't know what that was, and intend to appeal against being placed on the censorship blacklist in this way. In the meantime, they have moved the site to a different IP address, at lurkmore.to, where it can presumably be accessed even by Russian children -- thus neatly demonstrating the futility of this kind of hamfisted censorship.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:45am

    the frightening thing about this is that it is far from being the only country that is stifling speech. there are plenty of 'democratic' countries as well, the UK joining the US in doing so. i also read where there has been a 3fold increase in take down requests from the UK government to Google. looks like the 'good ol' Tories' are getting so scared of the people learning about the shit they are causing they are trying to stop it being released to the public! seems like all governments are the same. scared of the people and becoming more and more secretive over what they are up to! all the austerity measures in place in the EU hasn't been done to try to reduce any country's debt, it's done to try to take away the rights of the people, leaving the rich and famous people and companies intact to screw even harder

     

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  2.  
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    Ikarushka (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:47am

    And the whack-a-mole era ensues!

    http://izvestia.ru/news/539532 (in Russian): One of the authors of the recent censorship regime now is mulling banning circumvention sites.

     

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  3.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:52am

    That is the pointless thing about web blocking. Users just get around it with proxies and such, or website owners get around it by moving the site elsewhere, or a completely new but similar service opens up.

    Just think of what the money spent on this pointlessness could be spent on.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 8:17am

    Censorship only furthers interest in whatever it is that's being censored, causing a backlash effect.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Vic, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 9:34am

    Re:

    "Программисты пишут код быстрее, чем законодатели законы."

    How very true... 8^)

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 10:29am

    Re:

    Yeah, because blocking the original site certainly worked...

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    Notability

    With the notability requirement for articles relaxed, Lurkomore had become an "encyclopedia of contemporary culture, folklore, and subcultures, as well as everything else

    Just a side note, but I wish Wikipedia would do that. Do they not have enough hard disk space for unimportant topics, or what?

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    The Man, Jul 30th, 2013 @ 10:38pm

    It does absolutely no good to just block a site or move it. It's ridiculously easy to just hop on a proxy server or work around to view the site. It really is pointless.

     

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


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