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.
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.
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".