Russia Plans Internet Censorship Bill (For The Children!); Russian Wikipedia Blacks Out In Protest (Techdirt)
Wednesday July 11th, 2012
Over in Russia, they're preparing some new internet legislation that would censor the internet using the typical bogeymen. The claim from supporters is that the law is to block access to information on drugs, suicide and child porn -- all to protect the children. The way it works is with a giant blacklist, that I'm sure won't be abused at all (yes, that's sarcasm). We're talking about a country that has abused copyright law to go after critics and which has a bit of a... er... reputation for government officials abusing power to get what they want. In fact, some are already pointing out that the wording in the bill is really vague, such that it can be used to block any site dubbed as an "extremist" site.
And it's not just the human-reviewed blacklist that's at issue. The bill will also require "a special automatic system that will block websites containing 'prohibited' information.'" Because I'm sure that'll work even better...
We've noted other Russian legislation in the past, but this bill seems to go a hell of a lot further in creating a massive censorship tool for the Russian government.
The Russian Wikipedia is blacking out its site in protest, reminding many of the SOPA blackouts of Wikipedia in the US, though it's also worth noting that the Italian Wikipedia did a similar blackout even before the big SOPA blackout. It's good to see people speaking out and realizing that they don't have to just accept it when a government sweeps away their rights online. Who knows if this will have much of an impact, but getting more attention on the issue is a good start.