Russia Blocks The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine Over A Single Page

from the keep-history-buried dept

Over the last few years, Russia has really been ramping up its efforts to censor the internet to hide content it doesn't like. As is often the case when the government gets the power to censor, that censorship starts spreading farther and farther.

The latest? Apparently in the effort to hide a single archive of a site that the Russian government doesn't like, the entire "Wayback Machine" from the Internet Archive has been blocked:

The Russian government has blocked the Internet Archive, the San-Francisco-based website that provides the popular Wayback Machine, which allows users to view archived webpages. The decision to ban the Internet Archive appears to be the work of Russia's Attorney General, meaning that police determined that the website contains extremist content.

Rublacklist.net says police targeted the Internet Archive because of a saved webpage called “Solitary Jihad in Russia,” a short text that claims to offer information about the “theory and practice of partisan resistance.” At one point, the text states that Islamic sharia law “must be instituted all across the world.”

According to the website Rublacklist.net (a censorship-monitoring project operated by the Russian Pirate Party), the page in questionon the Internet Archive was added to Russia's official registry of banned websites on June 23, 2015. Because the Internet Archive uses https, some Russian ISPs will have to block the entire website in order to comply with the blacklisting, since encrypted traffic won't allow them to differentiate between different pages of the same site. According to TJournal, users of mobile Internet provider Yota were unable to access the page, the Wayback Machine, or the Internet Archive on June 25.

As you hopefully already know, the Wayback Machine is a tremendously useful tool for looking up archived versions of websites. It is a kind of library of our internet history. Of course, as the article at Global Voices notes, part of the reason the entire site is getting blocked is due to the use of HTTPS. While some might argue that this is a reason why sites shouldn't go to default HTTPS, I'd argued the opposite: it shows the value in HTTPS in that it makes censorship much more difficult such that when it occurs, the results are so ridiculous that it hopefully leads to greater pushback on the ridiculous attempts to censor.

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Tovarisch, 26 Jun 2015 @ 3:38pm

    Masnick able to see dust motes half the world away, yet blind to the surveillance behemoth next door in Frisco.

    TWO "ridiculouses" in Masnick's last line, so I guess he considers this vital news!

    Meh. I guess, as a notion, that a line spent on this anomaly would be okay. My point is that there's no major stories here at Techdirt (let alone what alarms me about Google), JUST these little tidbits.

    It does fit with Hate Russia Month here at Techdirt, and not coincidentally with insane US propaganda. For vastly more relevance to your life, read this:
    In this episode of Trends In The News, trends-forecaster Gerald Celente exposes the extreme nature of what he dubs `the let's hate Russia propaganda campaign'. According to nearly all major US media outlets, The Russians are being blamed for quite literally all of our problems and being portrayed as a threat to international security when nothing could be further from the truth.

    http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/06/24/the-lets-hate-russia-propaganda-campaign/


    And now Techdirt fanboys can "hide content it doesn't like", which Masnick above directly equates to censoring, proving my long time complaint here about mis-use of the "report" button to censor dissenting comments that are within common law.

    And besides that, Masnick blocks MY home IP range, so I have to use TOR!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 4:37pm

      Re: Masnick able to see dust motes half the world away, yet blind to the surveillance behemoth next door in Frisco.

      This isn't a direct response to you, but I do see irony in the Russian astroturf factories using TOR exit nodes set up by the US government...

      Sure, the US knows who's doing it, but that doesn't really change that it's happening and the US government is enabling it.

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

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 29 Jun 2015 @ 4:25am

      Re: Masnick able to see dust motes half the world away, yet blind to the surveillance behemoth next door in Frisco.

      Dude, start fucking reading Techdirt. The writers hasve spent plenty of time and articles bashing the US surveillance efforts. I know you are paid to troll but at least be coherent.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2015 @ 5:42pm

        Re: Re: Masnick able to see dust motes half the world away, yet blind to the surveillance behemoth next door in Frisco.

        Calling himself "Comrade" is probably not a paid shill, just an idiot who believes them.

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

  • identicon
    Tovarisch, 26 Jun 2015 @ 3:40pm

    Masnick able to see dust motes half the world away, yet blind to the surveillance behemoth next door in Frisco.

    TWO "ridiculouses" in Masnick's last line, so I guess he considers this vital news!

    Meh. I guess, as a notion, that a line spent on this anomaly would be okay. My point is that there's no major stories here at Techdirt (let alone what alarms me about Google), JUST these little tidbits.

    It does fit with Hate Russia Month here at Techdirt, and not coincidentally with insane US propaganda. For vastly more relevance to your life, read this:
    In this episode of Trends In The News, trends-forecaster Gerald Celente exposes the extreme nature of what he dubs `the let's hate Russia propaganda campaign'. According to nearly all major US media outlets, The Russians are being blamed for quite literally all of our problems and being portrayed as a threat to international security when nothing could be further from the truth.

    http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/06/24/the-lets-hate-russia-propaganda-campaign/


    And now Techdirt fanboys can "hide content it doesn't like", which Masnick above directly equates to censoring, proving my long time complaint here about mis-use of the "report" button to censor dissenting comments that are within common law.

    And besides that, Masnick blocks MY home IP range, so I have to use TOR!

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Tovarisch, 26 Jun 2015 @ 3:41pm

    Masnick able to see dust motes half the world away, yet blind to the surveillance behemoth next door in Frisco.

    TWO "ridiculouses" in Masnick's last line, so I guess he considers this vital news!

    Meh. I guess, as a notion, that a line spent on this anomaly would be okay. My point is that there's no major stories here at Techdirt (let alone what alarms me about Google), JUST these little tidbits.

    It does fit with Hate Russia Month here at Techdirt, and not coincidentally with insane US propaganda. For vastly more relevance to your life, read this:
    In this episode of Trends In The News, trends-forecaster Gerald Celente exposes the extreme nature of what he dubs `the let's hate Russia propaganda campaign'. According to nearly all major US media outlets, The Russians are being blamed for quite literally all of our problems and being portrayed as a threat to international security when nothing could be further from the truth.

    http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/06/24/the-lets-hate-russia-propaganda-campaign/


    And now Techdirt fanboys can "hide content it doesn't like", which Masnick above directly equates to censoring, proving my long time complaint here about mis-use of the "report" button to censor dissenting comments that are within common law.

    And besides that, Masnick blocks MY home IP range, so I have to use TOR!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 3:49pm

    so what? the entertainment industries do just as bad. they get whole websites blocked, disabled even destroyed because there is a single file on them that they dont think should be, regardless of all the non-infringing files that are there as well!
    they have their sights on complete control of the internet and wont stop til they've got it. even VPN services are caving just at the thought of court action!!

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 29 Jun 2015 @ 8:33am

      Re:

      "the entertainment industries do just as bad"

      So what? That's talked about more here than Russia, and it's not relevant anyway. Criticism is not invalid just because it can also be applied to others.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 4:03pm

    Headline Incorrect

    Russia didn't block the Internet Archive's wayback machine; a Russian directive from the AG stated that a specific cached page in the archive must be filtered by Russian ISPs, and due to *all* of archive.org being https by default now, the only way to guarantee such a block is to block archive.org itself -- this includes not just the wayback machine, but also the software archive, the collected public texts archive, and many more -- as indicated in the quote in the article :)

    Interestingly, some Russian ISPs chose to just block the http link to the specific page instead of blocking https access to archive.org. We'll see how long that lasts.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 11:22pm

      Re: Headline Incorrect

      Thank you for pointing out the facts, sir.

      Mostly we hear about the heavy pressure put on independent media to give the right story and the judicial system being heavily controlled by the political system.

      The pirate party and wikileaks are pretty difficult to deal with and often brings information about the shady part of the world today. It is good to know that such an organisation can survive in these parts of the world.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 29 Jun 2015 @ 8:34am

      Re: Headline Incorrect

      So, in other words, Russia is blocking all of the Internet Archive.

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

  • identicon
    Billy-Bob McGee, 26 Jun 2015 @ 4:22pm

    More anti-Putin CIA propaganda from Mike (CIA Asset) Masnick.

    As an proud citizenry membership of great state of Kentucky, USA, I supports Mike in his patriot CIA disinformation work.

    -Billy-Bob ('Rooster') McGee

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

  • identicon
    Klaus, 28 Jun 2015 @ 3:20am

    Someone' s being overly sensitive

    Unless Google's Russian to English translator is playing up, the Russian AG has to be one of the most namby-pamby milquetoast mama's boys in existence.

    This is about the most offensive piece I could find in the archive:

    "We ask Allah to make this humble work has found an echo in the hearts of sincere and caused the cleansing of the earth from the defilement of the Russian government and of any power of the infidels."

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

  • icon
    msharon537 (profile), 29 Jun 2015 @ 6:25am

    It's really cool that Savchuk was able to disclose the details of the work of trolls!

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

  • identicon
    GEMont, 29 Jun 2015 @ 11:16pm

    Fight Firewall with Firewall

    Just one question:

    Can the Internet fight back and Block All of Russia?

    Methinks it would be only fitting that any nation that tries to bend the web to suit its own perverted concept of reality, should be banned from using the www altogether, until such time as it grows up and can prove it has developed a rudimentary intelligence.

    ---

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

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 2 Jul 2015 @ 8:18pm

      Re: Fight Firewall with Firewall

      Can the Internet fight back and Block All of Russia?

      Why stop there? The US has been doing dastardly things too, as have the Chinese, the Norks, the Australian gov't, ...

      You're calling for censorship, you know? The answer to bad speech is more speech, not less speech.

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

      • identicon
        GEMont, 6 Jul 2015 @ 1:19pm

        Re: Re: Fight Firewall with Firewall

        Well, ok I suppose it could be seen as censorship if you use a large enough criteria such as "do bad things" and I do vehemently oppose censorship, however I was seeing it more along the lines of taking a loaded gun away from a child, or, perhaps like taking away computer-use privileges from a child who refuses to let his siblings use the computer.

        The criteria was not "because the Russians do bad things", but because Russia wants to alter the whole internet in order to protect private interests from unpleasant facts, and to prevent their propaganda from being effective.

        (Who the hell are "the Norks"??)

        In much the same way that Google might eliminate China altogether from its search engine availability due to the Chinese Government's immaturity and attempts to limit the results of Google searches made by Chinese citizens, I saw the removing of access to the WWW for Russia as a means of slapping its leader's collective wrist and possibly inciting public outcry among the Russians citizens and thus affecting regime change, or official mind-set from within.

        Censorship was never my intention.

        ---

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


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