Russia Passes Internet Censorship Laws

Russia Passes Internet Censorship Laws

Russia is the latest country to enact laws that allows it to censor the Internet. The Russian version of Wikiepedia protested the bill by blacking out its website earlier, unfortunately, that didn’t stop the legislation from going into effect.

Internet censorship has become all the rage in recent years with governments all over the world falling over each other trying to find new ways of blocking “undesirable” content. Russia is simply the latest example of this censorship.

Yesterday, the Russian version of Wikipedia blacked out its website in protest of the censorship legislation.

The legislation was known as Bill 89417-6 and it would allow the government to give a website 24 hours to remove any content it doesn’t like. After that, if the content is still there, the site would be blacklisted by ISPs. What could be censored is anything deemed harmful to children, promotion of drugs or suicide or anything considered “illegal” under Russian law. The Russian version of Wikipedia has some information on the legislation (Google translated, Russian original)

This morning, the word is that the bill has passed to the distress of digital rights advocates.

The broad implications I see is that it makes using something like a Russian VPN less desirable because, for all we know, those services could be affected by this. More worrisome is that this could continue a disturbing trend where governments are more inclined to begin Internet censorship now that Russia has become the latest country to do this. It also won’t stop the content from entering Russia as more people would be more likely to use TOR, a proxy or VPN service to access whatever content the users want. If things get ugly, there’s also the world of onion sites which can be accessed through TOR as well. Content on such sites are substantially more difficult to censor. Fortunately, things haven’t gotten that bad, but we are certainly beginning to head into that direction.

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Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson is perhaps one of the more well-known file-sharing and technology news writers around. A journalist in the field since 2005, his work has had semi-regular appearances on social news websites and even occasional appearances on major news outlets as well. Drew founded <a href=""></a> and still contributes to ZeroPaid.


Small corrections:

1) it never said anywhere that it is "censorship". Officially it is just protection from porn and violence.

2) its intent is "cleaning" of the web from porn and violence. If you visit Russian websites you will see that basically every banner is porn or something to do with violence. Even normal, good websites. Occasionally even websites for kids have ads for porn or violence.

3) there were many scandals in the press about violence videos which were taken by students beating up kids and putting this all on the net. These scandals raged for years.

4) There were many requests from parents for government intervention to clean internet.


And finally, nothing has yet happened. There is a lot of debate going on in Russia. Some are for it and some are against. In a way, for those people who are not fluent with computers it is better for this to happen as it takes the problem off their shoulders. For those who are good with computers doesn't matter. Statistically, those who are teens, in their 20s or 30s often argue against this. But people older are arguing for it.


P.S. love the sentence "What could be censored is anything deemed harmful to children, promotion of drugs or suicide or anything considered “illegal” under Russian law", kind of leaves with an impression of evil country and bad dictatorial government. Neither of which are true.


Coming soon to the UK...

Scott Housman
Scott Housman

Looks the the socialist ate taking back over...