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Russia Does A 'Copy/Paste' Of Germany's New 'Hate Speech' Online Censorship Law

from the well,-that-wasn't-predictable-at-all dept

A few weeks ago, we warned about a dangerous new German law that would fine social media companies if they didn't magically block "hate speech" on their platforms. As we pointed out, this would lead to widespread censorship, as the risk of liability for leaving up even borderline speech would be massive. And, equally important, this would embolden oppressive, dictatorial and autocratic regimes to press on with their own crackdowns on free speech by using laws like this one and claiming that they're doing the exact same thing as supposedly democratic nations like Germany.

We didn't have to wait long. Reporters Without Borders points us to the news that Russia has now rushed out a bill that is basically a cut and paste of the German law:

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a Russian bill that would force social networks to remove “unlawful” content within 24 hours of notification. It is based very closely on a law that was adopted in Germany on 30 June.

The Russian bill shows that when leading democracies devise draconian legislation, they provide repressive regimes with ideas. Submitted to the Duma on 12 July by members of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, the bill’s references to the German law are explicit.

Just like the German bill, the Russian bill would allow anyone to claim certain content is "unlawful" and then the platforms would have 24 hours to remove the content or face massive fines. This will, inevitably, enable much greater control and censorship (already an issue in Russia). But it will be more difficult to argue that Russia is doing something "bad" here as the Russians will quickly point out that Germany has identical legislation. And I wouldn't be surprised to see other countries, such as Iran or China, put in place similar "laws" themselves.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 12:26pm

    Just like the German bill, the Russian bill would allow anyone to claim certain content is "unlawful"

    In other words the 'establishment' of a country, the politicians and major company owners etc. will be able to say whatever benefits them, and have any speech that criticizes them or their companies removed as defamatory, and therefore illegal.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 12:44pm

      Re:

      exactly, all that is happening now is...

      Hey citizens, here is another list of shit we are not going to put up with from you.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 12:48pm

    This isn't the 1st time Germany and Russia saw things eye to eye.

    Hitler and Stalin had a thing going, before Hitler double crossed him.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 12:55pm

    Other Countries

    And I wouldn't be surprised to see other countries, such as Iran or China, put in place similar "laws" themselves.

    With Britain and the US then not far behind. I imagine Team Trump is already drooling.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 12:58pm

    I do not want to be utilizing the same internet the Germans and Russians do. Living w/o the internet will be a blessing and I for one am looking forward to it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 1:39pm

    If Germany had planned ahead...

    They would have stored the bulk of this law in a copyrighted publication that was incorporated-by-reference into the actual law. Then they could take Russia to a court over unauthorized copying of the German law. ;)

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

    • icon
      stderric (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 3:20pm

      Re: If Germany had planned ahead...

      Then they could take Russia to a court over unauthorized copying of the German law. ;)

      They're not gonna bother will the small fish. Germany's going straight to charging Google a fee for every search result that includes a form of the word 'Russia' in it.

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

  • identicon
    Mike, 21 Jul 2017 @ 5:12am

    gateway

    Google and others with servers outside Germany and Russia should sue these countries for allowing their citizens access to their servers without a country supplied gateway which filters the "hate speech".

    If these countries want to filter the Internet, let them bear all of the costs of doing so.

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

  • icon
    Wyrm (profile), 21 Jul 2017 @ 9:45am

    US version?

    I can imagine the US version would have an explicit exemption for the president's tweets.
    If not, all of Trump's tweets would disappear within seconds.
    :D

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

  • identicon
    Stosh, 21 Jul 2017 @ 10:33am

    "bill would allow anyone to claim certain content is "unlawful""

    Once the right and the left gets done with this, only highly technical posts about particle physics from Cern will be left on the internet...what www was invented for!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 10:59am

      Re:

      >only highly technical posts about particle physics from Cern will be left on the internet.

      Even they will disappear when the creationists claim they are not described in the Bible and therefore break the laws of God.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Jul 2017 @ 11:52am

    Sad, the Russian trolls must be off working overtime defending Trump and Putin going to the bathroom together like a couple of high school girls.

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


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