Russia begins to restrict sites with content considered illegal

An agency responsible for blocking sites considered illegal and offensive started working in Russia on Monday, 5th.

According to the website GigaOm, the new legislation was enacted by President Vladimir Putin and published in the Official Directory in July this year, requiring sites with information considered harmful – pedophilia, drugs and suicide – to be closed by their owners or by the providers themselves.

The law says that if the site is not taken down by its owner within 24 hours of receiving the notice, the government is authorized to block its access to the country’s 145 million inhabitants.

According to the responsible body, in the first 24 hours of existence, they registered more than 5,000 complaints about offensive content, with 96% of these requests being rejected after consideration.

“Of the initial complaints, ten websites were blacklisted for containing child pornography, 40 reports were passed on to drug control authorities and 23 to the consumer protection agency,” said the message posted on the agency’s website.

Despite the high number of complaints, the international non-governmental organizationReporters Sans Frontiers, whose declared aim is to defend freedom of the press in the world, opposes legislation and other Russian laws related to the internet.

“The process of blocking access is extremely dismal. No judicial decision is necessary. A group of anonymous ‘experts’, of unknown competence and unconfirmed credentials are responsible for the restrictions,” the group said.

“In September last year, for example, YouTube was totally blocked for several hours in some regions by internet providers who were ordered to block an anti-Islam film, called ‘The Innocence os Muslims’,” recalled the organization.

In addition, in July of this year, Wikipedia in the country decided to go offline for a day in protest against the new law. Commons.

The Russian government claims that greater control over the internet is necessary to monitor excesses such as child pornography or the spread of drugs, in a common argument for advocates of a more centralized web.

Critics of the amendments, however, say that its existence is due to a plan by Putin, who would be interested in more easily controlling his political dissidents.

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