Russia plans to censor InternetTuesday, March 18, 2008 at 7:32 | Posted in censorship, Freedom of speech, internet, russia | 8 Comments
Russia has so far not bothered very much to regulate the Internet. The low Internet penetration in Russia has guarded most citizens from the harmful effects of free speech. Since the traditional media is under heavy government control, access to independent sources of information has has been kept on a suitable level without special measures targeted against the web.
However, this is likely to change soon. According to The Other Russia, the Prosecutor-General’s Office has filed legislative proposals about web censorship to both houses of the Parliament and the presidential administration. The prosecutors want to make ISP’s and telecoms responsible for “objectionable and extremist material” in the Internet.
Aleksey Zhafyarov, the deputy head of Directorate to supervise enforcement of laws on federal security, interethnic relations and countering extremism was frank with the agency:
“We have a paradoxical situation on our hands: there is a whole group of companies that maintain the internet and derive a profit, yet take no responsibility for the impact on society of the content they host.”
Internet related bills have previously been tabled in both houses, among others one that would require all web sites with more than 1000 daily visitors to register as mass-media outlets and another one limiting foreign investments to telecom and internet industries.