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Article posted Feb 14 2013, 12:17 PM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: Techdirt Print

Russia Uses New Internet Censorship Bill To Silence Prominent Reporters Who Criticized The Government

by Mike Masnick

Last summer, Russia passed an internet blacklist bill which required ISPs to censor certain sites. At the time, of course, Russian officials insisted it would be used to "protect the children" from "harmful information," including child porn, suicide instructions, and pro-drug propaganda. They insisted it would not go beyond that. Of course, within weeks, a popular blogging site, LiveJournal, was censored, followed by the Russian equivalent of Wikipedia.

And now they're targeting journalists as well. Access is reporting that added to the blacklist has been a site used by prominent free speech / civil liberties reporters in Russia who have been critical of the government. The government claims (of course) that they put the site on the blacklist due to "child pornography elements," but Access points out that rather than just removing such content, they've blocked access to the entire site, which is notable given the usage by critical reporters.
At least two prominent journalists host their blogs on Andrei Malgin, a journalist who has been very critical of the government and hosts a mirror site at LJR, and Vladimir Pribylovsky, who has been targeted for publishing a large database of government misdeeds and for disclosing official documents that expose corruption.
Once you've set up tools that enable censorship, you know they'll eventually be used for censorship.

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