A Chronicle of Russian Internet Filtering / March 2013admin 01.05.2013
A Chronicle of Russian Internet Filtering / March 2013
n March the Russian authorities turned their attentions to online social networks — and the Kremlin proved adept at getting major international companies to comply with its directives: on 15 March Twitter blocked an account that promoted drugs and on 29 March Facebook took down a page called “Suicide School” rather than see its entire network blacklisted.
On 25 March, reports surfaced that the ministry of Communications and Mass Media planned to transfer maintenance of the Registry of Banned Sites from communications regulator Roskomnadzor to a third party selected by Roskomnadzor. The ministry proposed changes to the registry; to maintain website owners’ information on the register†but deny sites owners ó as well as hosting and Internet providers ó access to the entire registry. Internet service providers will also be obliged to restore access to sites that have been removed from the register within 24 hours.
Education and schools
ISPs win small victory on child protection
Reports from†1 March†stated that Vladimir Putin agreed a change to the Russian administrative code exempting internet service providers from responsibility for preventing availability to children of harmful materials from publicly accessible internet services. Responsibility now rests with all ďpersons who provide access to information distributed via telecommunication networks in places accessible to childrenĒ rather than ISPs.
Saratov demands better filtering
On†13 March†the Saratov regional†prosecutor reported that the Bazarno-Karabulaksky district prosecutor had discovered that pornographic websites were accessible from computers in the village school of Alekseevka. Similar violations were discovered in schools of Maksimovka, Vyazovka and Sukhoi Karabulak. The schools were told to upgrade their content filtering.
Tyva schools ordered to improve content filtering
On 27 March it was reported that the Tandinsky district court in the Tyva Republic had accepted a district prosecutorís demand that Kochetovo village school enhance its content filtering. An inspection had found that students could access websites providing instructions on manufacturing smoking blends and explosives, as well as publications included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.
Neryungri prosecutor demands filtering
It was reported on 27 March that the Neryungri prosecutor had discovered that computers in several schools and a college allowed access to undesirable websites. Educational managers were fined for their negligence and content filters are currently being installed.
Pskov clamps down on porn
On 29 March it was reported that the Dnovsky district prosecutor in Pskov had discovered that students in a secondary school in the town of Dno were able to freely access pornographic websites and sites promoting the use of illegal drugs. The school was told to stop allowing such access.
Bashkortostan targets cannabis site
The Meleuzovsky prosecutor in Bashkortostan discovered that banned websites were accessible in several Meleuz educational institutions. Students in one school could access a website containing information on manufacturing hashish. The prosecutor demanded that the schools restrict access.
Extremism ďdiscovered in burger barĒ
On†28 February†an inspection by the counter-propaganda department of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic ministry of the interiorís anti-extremism unit found an extremist website on the Federal List of Extremist Materials, made publicly accessible from a computer in the Momento Burger internet cafe in Cherkessk. The case is now being considered by the local prosecutor.
Syktyvkar assault on ‘extremist materialsí
It was reported on†15 March†that the Syktyvkar city court had accepted its prosecutorís writ demanding that access to 20 sites be restricted by the ISP ParmaTel for featuring extremist materials.
Vologda blocks Islamist website
On†18 March†it was reported that the Sokolsky prosecutor had issued a request to an ISP to block access to radical Islamist websites including an article included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.
Samara clamps down
On†19 March†the Kirovsky district court of Samara granted the prosecutorís office claim against an Internet provider for providing access to a website that contained the book The Gardens of the Righteous by Imam Abu Zakaria Mohiuddin Yahya. The book is included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.
Moscow prosecutor restricts access
On†19 March†it was reported that Gagarinsky prosecutor in in Moscow had filed a writ with Gagarinsky district court against the ISP Niko-2001, demanding restrictions on access to five websites containing publications on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. The ISP complied and the case was dropped.
Nazis suppressed in Lipetsk
Reports from†19 March†stated that the Sovetsky district prosecutor in Lipetsk had successfully demanded that the White Resistance (Beloie Soprotivleniie) website be recognised as extremist because it contained Aryan supremacy propaganda, including Adolf Hitlerís Mein Kampf.
Ulyanovsk goes for Islamists
On†21 March†the Ulyanovsk regional prosecutor stated that the Inzensky district prosecutor had found a number of publicly accessible websites containing extremist materials, including the Letter of the Autonomous Mujahideen Group of Vilayata KBK IK, which is on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. The district prosecutor has served a writ against the local branch of the ISP Rostelekom demanding that access be blocked.
Saratov upholds ban
On†22 March†it was reported that the civil law panel of the Saratov regionial court had upheld a lower courtís decision to order the ISPs COMSTAR-Regions and Altura to restrict access to websites containing extremist materials.
Saratov prosecutor sues against hatred
On 27 March the Saratov regional prosecutor was reported to have filed eight writs against the ISP COMSTAR-Regiony and the regional branch of the ISP Rostelekom, demanding restrictions on access to websites containing references to extremist activity and materials aimed at inciting hatred or enmity.
Poem targeted in Tambov
On 27 March it was reported that the Michurinsk city prosecutor in Tambov had demanded that the ISP Telesputnik restrict access to a web page containing a poem included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. The poem was declared extremist by a city court in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in 2007.
Chelyabinsk restricts nationalist site
On 28 March the Chelyabinsk regional prosecutor announced that the Leninsky district prosecutor in Magnitogorsk had filed seven writs demanding that ISPs restrict access to a right-wing website publishing extremist materials ó among them the the article Open Questions of Russian Nationalism.
Sverdlovsk targets Islamists
On 28 March the Sverdlovsk regional prosecutor announced that the Kamensk-Uralsky prosecutor had filed several writs against the ISPs Kamensk-Telekom and Konveks-Kamensk and the regional branch of Rostelekom demanding restrictions on access to websites containing materials on the Federal List of Extremist Materials including the tract Adhering to the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him).
Bryansk ISP gets court order
On 28 March it was announced that the Bryansk regional court had granted the request of the Volodarsky district prosecutor to restrict access to websites containing extremist materials. The Sovetsky district court last year rejected the request but was overturned on appeal.
Ivanovo prosecutor wants explosives ban
On 28 March the Ivanovo regional prosecutor reported that the Teikovsky prosecutor had identified publicly accessible websites that contain information about manufacturing explosives. Writs demanding restriction of access to the websites were subsequently issued.
Kirov kills fascist website
On 28 March the Kirov regional prosecutor reported that a publicly accessible website offering items with fascist symbols for sale was identified during an audit. The Kirov city prosecutor demanded that the ISP MTC block access and the court complied.
Gambling and online casinos
ĎNo more gamblingí in Chapayevsk
On 6 March the Samara regional prosecutor declared that the Lenin district court of Samara had accepted 19 complaints by the Chapayevsk town prosecutor about inadequate restrictions on access to gambling websites.
Ulyanovsk restricts pyramid schemes
On†14 March†it was reported that the Novomalyklinsky district prosecutorís office of the Ulyanovsk region†had issued writs against the local branch of the ISP Rostelekom demanding restrictions on access to websites run by the pyramid-scheme impresario Sergey Mavrodi.
Kurgan stops the betting
On 15 March it was reported that the Dalmatovsky district prosecutor had identified 25 gambling websites. The prosecutor demanded that the ISP Rus block the sites, and it agreed.
Online gambling halted in Penza
On 15 March the Penza regional prosecutor reported that the Lenin district prosecutor had identified 13 online casino websites. The prosecutor filed a writ against the ISP Rostelekom demanding that access be restricted, which was granted.
Orenburg rules out casinos
On 15 March it was reported that the Novotroitsk town court in the Orenburg region had agreed to a †prosecutorís demands for restrictions on access to online casino sites. The ISP Ass-Com blocked more than 20 websites voluntarily.
Omsk bars access to gambling
On 20 March the Leninsky district prosecutorís office in Omsk sued the ISP Sakhalin in the Leninsky district court, demanding restrictions on access to pyramid-scheme websites.
Pskov stops the gamblers
On†21 March†it was reported that the Pskov regional prosecutor had found 85 websites with gambling-related information and demanded access restrictions for the sites. After a long legal wrangle, the local branch of the ISP Rostelecom was ordered to restrict access.
Khanty-Mansiysk closes online bookies
On†22 March†the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous district prosecutorís office reported that the Nyagan Town prosecutor had identified several gambling websites. Based on the results of the inspection, the prosecutor filed a lawsuit against the local Rostelekom branch demanding that access to the websites be restricted. The Khanty-Mansiysk district court has granted the petition in full.
Perm blocks gambling access
On†26 March†the Perm regional prosecutor reported that pyramid-scheme websites had been found in the public domain in Chernushinsky district. The district prosecutor issued a writ demanding that the local ISP restrict access to these sites, which was accepted by the district court.
Khanty-Mansiysk clamps down
On†26 March†it was reported that the appeal court in the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous district had accepted demands from local prosecutors that pyramid-scheme websites be blocked.
Twitter closes account and deleted Tweets
On†15 March†it became known that in the two preceding weeks Twitter had blocked access to five tweets and closed one user account†upon request from Roskomnadzor because its owner advertised the sales of illegal drugs. Three Tweets were blocked for promoting suicide and two more for assisting in drug distribution. The deleted userís account had advertised a†drug distribution network, and was reported to†Roskomnadzor by Twitter after its removal.
ISP blocks social networks in Ryazan and Orel
On 28 March it was reported that the ISP Rostelekom had blocked the Odnoklassniki and VKontakte social networks in the Ryazan and Orel regions and had blocked access to YouTube in Orel and Livejournal in Ryazan. The websites were included on the Registry of Banned Sites, but the block was later lifted.
Roskomnadzor warns Facebook
On 28 March it was reported that the federal communications agency Roskomnadzor notified Facebook that it would be blocked unless it removed a page called ďSuicide schoolĒ, containing (mostly humurous) information about suicide. The page was added to Russiaís internet blacklist and was taken down by the social networking site.
Drugs and pornography
Samara blocks drug-dealing sites
On 12 March it was reported that the Novokuibyshevsk city court in Samara region had demanded that local ISPs MIRS, Next Tell-Samara, Progress IT and TesComVolga restrict access to 25 websites that offered narcotics and psychedelic substances for sale. The websites were identified during an audit conducted by the FSB Department of Samara Region.
Sverdlovsk prosecutor demands drugs action
Reports from†12 March†stated that the Sverdlovsk regional prosecutor had filed eight writs against the local branch of the ISP Rostelekom, †demanding restrictions on access to the websites containing material encouraging the use of illegal drugs.
Vladimir restricts access to porn and drugs
On 18 March the Vladimir regional prosecutor declared that the Kolchuginsky interdistrict prosecutor had †found websites containing pornographic materials, information about drug manufacturing and articles about suicide methods, made publicly accessible from a computer installed in the Kolchugino town post office. The prosecutor issued a writ against against a local branch of the ISP Rostelekom demanding that access be restricted, to which the ISP agreed.
Samara prosecutor demands porn block
On 19 March it was reported that the Novokuibyshevsk city prosecutor had filed six writs to block websites featuring child pornography. The lawsuits are pending.
Khabarovsk court upholds ISP porn decision
On†21 March†it was reported that the Khabarovsk regional court had upheld the decision of the Centralny district court in October 2012 against the local branch of the ISP Rostelekom, restricting access to two websites with pornographic content.
And the rest…
Website blocked for suicide book
On 27 March it was reported that a book by Perm psychotherapist Yuri Vagin, Aesthetics of Suicide (Estetika samoubiystva) had been categorised as extremist. The federal communications agency Roskomnadzor included the website of the Perm psychoanalytic society, which published the book, on the Registry of Banned Sites.
Orthodox parish registered as dangerous
On 27 March it was reported that Roskomnadzor had included the website of Svyato-Vvedensky parish of Rostov on the Register of Banned Sites. As of 30 March, a message ďThe requested page could not be foundĒ could be seen when attempting to access the site.
Websites warned over Pussy Riot
On 5 March Roskomnadzor reported that it had issued warnings in late February 2013 to the editorial boards of Argumenty i Fakty newspaper and the Polit.ru online news service for republishing a video clip by the Pussy Riot punk collective. The video had been previously been defined by a court as extremist.
Popular writers blog added to banned list
On 19 March Roskomnadzor added to the Register of Banned Sites a page from the online blog of popular writer Leonid Kaganov that featured the lyrics to a satirical song from a 1990s TV show ó supposedly for encouraging suicide. A blog post in which Kaganov commented on this ban was then added to the register ó and then so was his entire blog, even though, on the request of Roskomnadzor, Kaganov removed the contentious lyrics from his blog.
Sakhalin ISP told to stop giving bribery tips
On 26 March the Sakhalin regional court reversed a previous Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk city court decision not to ban the ISP Rostelekom from allowing access to a website containing information about giving bribes. The ISP must now restrict access to the site.
It became clear in February that internet censorship in†Russia†could be expanded to include sites with gay content. The State Duma†voted†for a bill banning “propaganda” for homosexuality involving minors, the second reading of which is scheduled for 25 May.
Many commentators believe that by then the bill will include amendments extending the list of conditions for blocking websites to include those containing information about homosexuality, which could be blocked without a court order. Current laws on protection of children could be similarly amended.
Duma deputy Elena Mizulina stated: ďNo adult has the right to impose their sexual preferences on a person under 18 years of age. Propaganda for homosexuality should be considered information inappropriate for children.Ē The League for Internet Safety, which is backed by the Kremlin and was behind the introduction of the register of banned websites in Russia, supports the initiative.
Schools, students, libraries and a post office
Tuva prosecutor demands school filters
Stavropol attack on ďharmfulĒ advertising
Restrictions on student access in Vologda
Rural school told: block ďdamagingĒ information
Library must restrict access to explosives sites
Surgut prosecutor hits at school porn
Amur school instructed to block violence
Kostroma post office fined
Bashkortostan court orders school filters
School head sued on access to extremism
ďStudents need protectionĒ in Kineshima
Salekhard school must install internet filters
Prosecutor demands protection from poetry
Altai court orders block on 29 websites
Saratov prosecutor demands restrictions
Extremist sites blocked in Smolensk
Yekaterinburg authorities block sites
Omsk oppositionist added to register
Altai demands restrictions
Kirov action against ISPs
Extremist website accessed from college
ISP blocks sites in Smolensk
Videos barred in Altai
Islamist videos banned in Kursk
Audit of websites in Karachay-Cherkessia
ISP warned in Krasnodar
Gambling and online casinos
Khanty-Mansiysk court blocks gambling
Tula prosecutor goes for pyramid scheme
On 26 February the Sovetskii district prosecutor in Tula sued the ISPs Altair Tula, MTS, RadioPeydzh-T, Tulskii Gosudarstvennyi Universitet and ER-Telecom Holding, demanding that they restrict access to sites of the MMM pyramid scheme.
Ufa prosecutor demands restrictions
Gambling targeted in Surgut
Tula casino access barred
Pyramid-scheme sites banned in Yamal-Nenets
Chita court order ISP to block pyramid schemes
Samara bars gambling ads
Casino sites blocked in Kaliningrad
Computer club told to clamp down
Surgut blocks pyramid sites
Online casinos blocked in Samara
Tula orders online casino ban
Casinos blocked in Komi Republic
Samara court blocks drug promotion
Cannabis sites blocked in Voronezh
On 13 February the Voronezh ISP Votek Mobile was ordered by a district court to limit access to the online cannabis seed distributor Semyanych, kacheli.my1.ru and ganzhaman.tut.by. Votek Mobile closed access to these sites.
And the rest
Move on fake diplomas site
Chechnya ban on Islamist TV channel
Block on sites giving bribery tips
User group banned in St Petersburg
ISP sued for posting bribery tips
Orel blocks bribery sites
Post by designer added to banned list
A Chronicle of Russian Internet Filtering / January 2013admin 25.02.2013 13:18:00
A Chronicle of Russian Internet Filtering / January 2013
January saw a dramatic escalation of internet filtering†in Russia. The League for Internet Safety, an organisation backed by the Kremlin, launched an experiment in the Kostroma region in central Russia in which 29 local internet service providers signed new contracts with users, giving them access only to a sanitised internet – in other words, websites included on a “white list”. Those wishing to surf beyond the confines of the white list are required to notify their provider explicitly.
At the start of the experiment the white list included about 500,000 sites; by the end of the experiment, †scheduled for April, it is expected to include up to 1 million.
The Ministry of Communications and Mass Media has stated that it does not support the experiment and considers it unnecessary in the light of existing legislation, in which Roskomnadzor, the Federal Agency for Supervision of Telecomms, Information Technologies and Mass Communications, plays a central role.
Communications minister Nikolai Nikiforov declared: ďThere is only one legitimate procedure for filtering of harmful content — the one operated by our subordinate agency Roskomnadzor. If operators impose restrictions, which are not covered by the law, they violate the rights of subscribers. Moreover, our country constitutes a single indivisible information space, and a specific region can not construct its citizens’ access to information under a different set of rules.Ē
But the League seems to have been unaffected by this comment. Its initiative was proudly presented at the Safe Internet Forum in Moscow on 8 February, attended by Russian MPs and high-placed officials, and mentioned by a Russian representative at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe conference Internet 2013†ó Shaping policies to advance media freedom held in Vienna on 14 and 15 February.
On 22 January the central district court of Volgograd accepted a demand from the Volgograd regional prosecutorís office to recognise as extremist two websites that published books by the Turkish theologian Said Nursi listed on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. Once the courtís decision comes into force, the websites will also be added to the list.
It was reported on 23 January that the Ordzhonikidze district prosecutorís office of Yekaterinburg had found a publicly accessible website featuring the lyrics of the song ďEvery Day, Under the Sign of DeathĒ by the Norwegian black metal band Zyklon B and the anti-Semitic tract Poisonous Fish: Zionists and Freemasons in Japan by A Klimov, recognised by courts as extremist. The site also included several other extremist items. The prosecutorís office filed 15 writs against the ISP AKADO-Yekaterinburg, demanding that access to this website be limited. The proceedings came to an end because of the ISPís voluntary compliance with the prosecutorís demands.
The Arkhangelsk regional prosecutorís office reported on 24 January that its audit of ISPs to check compliance with anti-extremist legislation had found a publicly accessible electronic translation of the Jehovahís Witnessesí tract What Does the Bible Really Teach?, declared extremist by the Rostov regional court. The prosecutor filed a writ against the regional branch of the ISP VimpelCom, demanding that access to this material be blocked. The ISP voluntarily complied with the request, and the case was dropped.
On 29 January it was reported that the Dolzhansky district prosecutorís office in the Orel region had found that the regional branch of the ISP Rostelecom was providing access to a website listed on the Federal List of Extremist Materials, and to another that contained instructions on making explosives and drugs. The prosecutorís office filed a writ demanding that access to the identified sites be restricted. Despite the ISPís argument that the websiteís owner should be responsible for monitoring content, the district court granted the prosecutorís request.
Gambling and online casinos
It was reported on 18 January that the Voronezh city prosecutorís office had identified a website that could be used for online gambling. It filed writs against several ISPs, including MegaFon, Tele2, MTS and Kodotel, demanding that they limit access. The court ordered the ISPs to comply.
The Omsk regional prosecutorís office announced on 22 January that after an audit of ISPsí compliance with the gambling ban, the central district prosecutorís office in Omsk had sent several demands to ISPs that access to gambling sites be restricted.
On 22 January it was announced that the Chernovsky district prosecutorís office in Chita had identified more than a dozen publicly accessible websites that provided online casino services. The prosecutor filed a writ with the district court demanding that the local ISP limit access to the identified websites. The ISP voluntarily blocked the sites.
The prosecutorís office in Ivanovo reported on 24 January that the Teykovo interdistrict prosecutorís office had filed five writs against the ISP Gorizont for providing access to gambling websites. The prosecutorís office demanded that access to these sites be blocked.
On 1 February the Tula regional prosecutorís office announced that the prosecutorís office of the Sovetsky district had reviewed implementation of legislation†on gambling. Four writs were filed against the ISP Altair Tula demanding restrictions of access to online casinos, which were accepted by the Sovetsky district court.
On 1 February the Pskov regional prosecutorís office announced that it had decided that the regional branch of the ISP Rostelecom was responsible for blocking†access to gambling sites.
Schools, students, and a beauty salon
The Tambov regional prosecutorís office announced on 9 January that the Oktiabrsky district prosecutorís office had found a computer located in a beauty salon that allowed access to websites containing extremist material. The salonís ISP, Lanta, has been instructed to cease the violations and bring disciplinary charges against those responsible.
On 14 January it was announced that the Komi Republic had launched a content filtering system for computers that provide students with access to the internet. The system covers 285 educational institutions of the republic and 150 computers used for home-schooling of children with disabilities. The goal is to prevent schoolchildren from accessing online information that ďis incompatible with the objectives of education and trainingĒ. Lists of acceptable and unacceptable sites will be maintained jointly by the republicís government and staff of educational institutions. The content filtering system is to be extended to cover all the Komi Republic schools.
It was reported on 15 January that bailiffs had ordered the management of four schools in the Kurumkansky district of Buryatia (in Kurumkan, Baragkhan and Sakhuli) to comply with court decisions on limiting studentsí access to banned sites. Content filters have been installed.
On 18 January it was reported that the ministry of education and science of the Volgograd region had signed an agreement with the local branch of Rostelecom for the ISP provider to assume responsibility for filtering studentsí access to websites containing dangerous material. Rostelecom provides internet access for 85 per cent of the regionís schools.
The Moscow regional prosecutorís office announced on 18 January that the Yegoryevsk town prosecutorís office had conducted an audit of compliance with legislation by local schools. The audit had established that in three schools in the district installed filters did not provide sufficient protection from extremist material. The prosecutorís office has demanded that the head of the local administration ends the violations and brings disciplinary charges against those responsible.
On 21 January it was announced that the department of information technology of the Moscow city government will provide all city schools with wireless internet access by the end of February. The company that won the contract for implementation of this programme, MGTS, must also provide content filtering in order to protect students from extremist, pornographic and other harmful material.
It was announced on 8 January that the Pervomaisky district court of Kirov had accepted the demand of the Leninsky district prosecutorís office that the regional branch of the ISP Rostelecom block access to a website that contained information about cultivation of hemp and producing a psychoactive substance from it.
On 10 January it was announced that the Simonovsky interdistrict prosecutorís office in Moscow had identified several websites that contained information on illegal drug distribution. The prosecutorís office filed three writs against the ISP AMT Group Telecom, demanding that access to these websites be restricted by adding an IP-address filter on its router. The Khamovniki district court dismissed them on the grounds that restricting access to the sites would also deprive users of access to other sites. The prosecutorís office appealed the decision. The Moscow city court subsequently reversed the district courtís judgment and ordered the provider to restrict access to the sites.
On†14 January†the Kirov regional prosecutorís office reported that a court had granted a request by the Oktyabrsky district prosecutorís office to order the ISP Rostelecom to limit access to a website containing†information about drugs and psychotropic substances. The courtís decision has not yet come into force.
On†16 January†it was reported that the Berezovsky district prosecutorís office in the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous area (also known as Yugra) had found several publicly accessible sites that promoted illegal drugs or contained extremist or pornographic material. The prosecutorís office filed a writ against the ISP Rostelecom demanding that access to these websites be blocked.
It was reported on†22 January†that the Nizhny Novgorod regional prosecutorís†office†had†identified several websites that promote distribution of illegal substances. The prosecutors of Nizhegorodsky and Sovetsky districts of Nizhny Novgorod and the city prosecutorís offices of Arzamas and Vyksun filed writs against multiple service providers, demanding that the identified websites be blocked.
And the rest…
On 3 January Roskomnadzor added the blog kazantripreport, hosted on the portal lj.rossia.org, to its register of banned sites. The creator of lj.rossia.org had agreed to remove the page on 2 January, having discussed doing so since 28 December. The notification from Roskomnadzor arrived a week after the page had been removed. The management of lj.rossia.org accused the user kazantripreport of spamming and using the resource for commercial purposes. In addition, the blog had published reviews of an illegal substance, as well as Russian translations of Philip Greaveís book†The Pedophileís Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-loverís Code of Conduct.
On 6 January Roskomnadzor notified the online encyclopedia lurkmore.to that the address for one of its articles had been included on the register of banned sites. The article discussed various ways to commit suicide in a satirical manner. The management of lurkmore.to has since removed the article and intends to appeal the ban in court. Roskomnadzor had taken similar measures against the online encyclopedia on previous occasions.
On 10 January Roskomnadzor notified Ilya Dronov, the manager of SUP Mediaís LiveJournal Russia project, that the blog of Rustem Agadamov had been added to the register of banned sites. Propaganda for suicide was cited as the reason for the ban. The post in question was a photo report, dated March 2012. It depicted an attempted self-immolation of a Tibetan independence activist in protest against the visit of the president of China. Access to the page has been restricted. The administration of LiveJournal Russia intends to appeal Roskomnadzorís decision.
A Chronicle of Russian Internet Filtering / December 2012admin 31.01.2013 19:23:00
A Chronicle of Russian Internet Filtering /†December 2012
December provided further evidence that the Russian authorities’ prime targets in their quest to censor allegedly illegal websites are not those containing content harmful to children, as they have claimed, but those publicising “extremist” political views and offering online gambling.
In the meantime, a new trend has emerged in Russia. Institutions providing public access to the internet — schools, libraries, internet clubs and even post offices ó being targeted for law enforcement agency inspections to check whether their computers had been updated to prevent access to banned websites. Quite remarkably, the inspections in schools and educational institutes checked access not only to content harmful to children and students, but also to sites deemed extremist.
Regional prosecutorís offices have in several cases filed lawsuits against local administrations to demand that they provide funding for the installation of content filters on school computers.
The Samara regional prosecutorís office reported on 4 December that the Kirov district prosecutorís office of Samara had filed seven claims against the ISP Svyazinvest, Lan-CTS, Indzhinium, and Samara-Koss. The prosecutor demanded that providers restrict access to pages containing extremist materials, including†The†Fortress of the Muslim†by Said Wahf al-Qahtani,†Prophet Muhammad Mustafa†by Osman Nuri Topbas, and†Council for Kings†by Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. All these books are included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. The lawsuits are pending.
On 4 December the Yoshkar-Ola city prosecutorís office reported on the audit of compliance with the law on combating extremist activity. The inspection had found that website providing public access to†The International Jew†by Henry Ford, which is included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials, was accessible. The prosecutorís office filed a court claim against the local branches of the ISPs Rostelecom, Mobile TeleSystems, ER-Telecom Holding, MegaFon and Vympel-Communications demanding that they limit access to this website. The Yoshkar-Ola city court granted the request of the prosecutorís office.
Reports on 5 December said that Nizhneserginsky district prosecutorís office of the Sverdlovsk region had found publicly accessible sites that contained extremist materials, including the book†Who is Afraid of Russian National Socialism†by AA Dobrovolski and several Islamist tracts. The prosecutorís office filed a court claim against the ISP AtsTeleKom, demanding that it restrict access to these sites by installing IP-address filtering. The ISP voluntarily complied with the prosecutorís request.
On 7 December it was announced that the Moscow district prosecutorís office of Kaliningrad region, in the course of its audit of compliance with anti-extremist legislation, had found websites The Imarat Caucasus Service and The Official Site of Vilayat Dagestan, both recognised as extremist, to be publicly accessible. Based on the audit results, the prosecutorís office filed a court claim against the ISP TIS-Dialog, demanding that access to these sites be restricted. In the course of the trial, the ISP voluntarily complied with the request of the prosecutorís office and restricted access to these sites.
On 7 December it was reported that the Sudogodsky district prosecutorís office of Vladimir region had in the course of its audit of compliance with anti-extremist legislation found that students in several district schools had had access to prohibited content, in particular to radical Islamistsí calls for changing the constitutional order. Directors of several schools received orders to cease the violations and to hold the perpetrators accountable. The schools installed additional filters, and the responsible parties faced disciplinary charges.
Reports from 12 December revealed that Starominsky district prosecutorís office in Krasnodar region had found in the course of its audit that computers used for remote education of children with neurological and musculoskeletal disorders allowed access to websites containing extremist materials ďand other resources, inconsistent with the objectives of education and trainingĒ, as well as access to social networks. The prosecutor concluded that the Starominsky education department inadequately monitored the implementation of the federal National Priority Project for education. An order to cease the violation and to pursue disciplinary charges against perpetrators was sent to the head of municipal education in Starominsky.
The prosecutorís office of Samara region in Novokuibyshevsk†identified on 14 December prohibited materials posted on a number of sites, including materials recognised as extremist, information about the sale of illegal drugs and smoking mixtures, information on giving bribes and ways to avoid military service. The prosecutorís office has filed 40 lawsuits against the ISPs MIRS, NeksTellSamara, Progress-IT and TesKomVolga demanding that access to these sites be restricted. The lawsuits are pending.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Karachay-Cherkessia reported on 17 December that it had found a website featuring extremist materials to be publicly accessible at a Cherkessk internet club. The report will serve as a basis for determining an appropriate penalty for the club management and the ISP for failing to block access to the site.
On 17 December it became known that Kamchatka ISPs had received nine orders in December to cease their violations of the federal law on combating extremist activity. The orders were based on the results of a September audit by the prosecutorís office, which had revealed the fact of public access to†The Innocence of Muslims†online video.
It was announced on 19 December that the Novorossiysk department of the Interior Ministry Centre for Combating Extremism for Krasnodar region filed a complaint with the prosecutorís office relating to public accessibility in Gelendzhik of the website Vilayat Dagestan Independent Information and Analytics . The site had been recognised as extremist and included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. Access had been provided by the local branch of the ISP MTS. The prosecutorís office issued a warning to the ISP.
On 20 December it was reported that the Dalmatovsky district prosecutorís office of Kurgan region had in the course of its audit had found that the ISP Rus had failed to limit access to a website recognised as extremist. The prosecutorís office filed a court claim against the provider, requesting a court order to restrict access to the website.
On 24 December the Primorye regional prosecutorís office announced that the Frunze district prosecutor in Vladivostok had found websites included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials to be publicly accessible. The local ISP Vladlink received an order to cease the violations of the law on combating extremist activity. The provider accepted the prosecutorís order by restricting access to extremist websites.
Reports on 21 December said that the Yagodninsky district prosecutorís office of Magadan region had in the course of its audit found a website was accessible that featured the Wahhabi Islamist tract†The Book of Monotheism, which is†included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. Prosecutors went to court demanding that the local ISP restrict access to the website by blocking its domain name.
On 25 December it was reported that the Oktyabrsky district prosecutorís office in Yekaterinburg had identified four sites that contained information on the distribution of drugs and advertised smoking blends.
In addition, the prosecutors identified websites that contained incitement to war and incitement to racial and religious hatred. The prosecutorís office filed four court claims against the ISP Uralwestcom demanding that it limit access to these sites. The Kirov district court of Yekaterinburg granted the request of the prosecutorís office in full.
On 25 December it was revealed that the prosecutorís office of the Lev Tolstoy district of Lipetsk region had in the course of its audit of ISPs found that computer software in the information sciences lab of the Kuzovlevo village school was not preventing students from accessing sites containing extremist material. The prosecutor filed a lawsuit demanding that the ISP Rostelecom block access to extremist websites.
On 26 December†The Innocence of Muslims†online†video,†recognised as extremist by a 1 October decision of the Tver district court in Moscow, was added to the Federal List of Extremist Materials, as item 1589. The list features a YouTube address of the video. It has since been removed from the site but can still be found elsewhere on the internet.
Gambling and online casinos
It became known on 4 December that the Gvardeisky district prosecutorís office had filed a lawsuit against Rostelecom, requesting that it restrict access to gambling websites. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit, noting that the claims had to be filed against the site owners (game organisers), and not against the ISP. The†appeal court reversed the decision and granted the request of the prosecutorís office.
On 11 December it was reported that the Verkh-Iset district prosecutorís office of Yekaterinburg had identified several websites that conducted illegal online gambling. Access to these sites had been provided by the ISP INSIS. The prosecutorís office went to court demanding that the ISP restrict access to these sites by installing IP-address filtering on its routers. The Oktyabrsky district court in Yekaterinburg dismissed the claim due to the voluntary compliance with the prosecutorís request by the ISP.
Reports on 14 December said that Muravlenko city prosecutorís office of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District had in the course of its audit identified six websites registered outside Russia and intended for online gambling. The local branch of Rostelecom received an order to cease the violations. The ISP refused to comply with the prosecutorís request, citing lack of necessary equipment and insisting that access restrictions should be implemented by the hosting provider. Subsequently, the prosecutorís office went to court, demanding that the local branch of Rostelecom restrict access to the identified sites. The Salekhard city court granted the request of the prosecutorís office.
On 25 December it was reported that the Leningrad regional prosecutorís office had filed court claims in the Volkhov district demanding that the ISPs Etalon Optic and Volkhov Online block access to sites, identified by prosecutors as illegal online casinos. The court granted the request of the prosecutorís office
On 27 December the Novgorod regional prosecutorís office reported that in the course of inspection it had revealed a number of online casinos. The prosecutorís office had been to court in autumn 2012 demanding that the ISPs Alfakom and Novgorod Datacom restrict access to the identified sites by blocking their IP-addresses on its routers. In November, the court granted the prosecutorís office claims. Subscriber access to gambling sites has been blocked.
Internet in schools, libraries and post offices
On 12 December the Tambov regional prosecutorís office reported that articles aimed at inciting national hatred had been found to be publicly available in one of the Morshansk secondary vocational schools. The director of the school received an order to cease the violations by installing filtering rules on its routers. The prosecutorís office also insisted on disciplinary charges.
On 13 December it was reported that Gavrilovsky district prosecutorís office of Tambov region had, in the course of its audit of compliance with the law on combating extremist activity, identified materials recognised as extremist to be publicly accessible via the Gavrilovsky district library computer. Prosecutors demanded that the library administration restrict access to websites containing material aimed at inciting social, racial and religious hatred by installing filtering software on the library router.
It became known on 13 December that the Kirov district prosecutorís office of Ufa region had found that the local post office computers allow access to websites containing extremist materials and instructions for manufacturing drugs. The prosecutorís office filed a lawsuit against the post office demanding that it install content filters to block the identified sites. The court granted the request of the prosecutorís office.
On 13 December the results of the audit of compliance with the legislation aimed at protecting children from harmful material were announced. The audit was conducted by the Pereslavl-Zalessky interdistrict prosecutorís office. During the inspection two of the city schools were found to offer unrestricted access to the websites that contained pornography and propaganda for racial, ethnic and religious inequality. Administrative charges were brought against the principals; the head of the department of education received an order to cease the violations.
On†17 December†the Tambov regional prosecutorís office reported on an audit of compliance with anti-extremist legislation conducted by the Sosnovsky district prosecutorís office. The audit established that computers installed in the main hall of the Sosnovka village post office provided access to a website that featured material recognised as extremist by court decisions and aimed at inciting national and religious hatred. The head of the Sosnovsky Post Office received an order to cease the violations and bring disciplinary charges against perpetrators.
Reports on 20 December said that the prosecutorís office in Mariinsky district in Kemerovo region found in the course of inspection that, despite the installed content filters, computers in all city schools allowed users to visit sites containing extremist materials. The prosecutorís office has sent an order to end the violations to the head of the Mariinsky district education office.
On 26 December it was reported that Iznoskovsk district prosecutorís office of Kaluga region had in the course of inspection of the Iznoskovsk secondary school found pornographic and extremist websites to be accessible from a school computer. The prosecutorís office filed a lawsuit against the district administration, demanding that it provide funding for the installation of content filters on school computers. In addition, the ISP Rostelecom and the school principal received orders to cease the violations.
The Tambov regional prosecutorís office announced on†27 December†its audit of the Kirsanovsky rural post office in the village of Umet. The audit revealed that the two post office computers provided access to the websites featuring material recognised as extremist. The prosecutorís office sent an order to the head of the Kirsanovsky post office to cease the violations and to consider disciplinary charges against perpetrators.
On 28 December it was reported that the Leninsky district prosecutor in Tambov region had filed a court claim against the Tambov branch of Rostelecom, demanding that it restrict access to websites containing information on various ways to commit suicide. The court granted the prosecutorís request and ordered the internet service provider to limit access to these sites by installing DNS-level filtering of domain names.
On 7 December the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District prosecutorís office reported that students in a school in the town of Pyt-Yakh were found to have unfettered access to a website that advertised illegal drugs and smoking mixtures. Based on the audit results, the town prosecutorís office issued an order to the ISP Tehnoservisgrupp demanding that public access to the site be blocked.
On 13 December it was reported that the prosecutorís office of Chapaevsk in Samara region, in the course of monitoring the internet for promotion of illegal drugs, identified several sites that advertised sales of psychotropic substances. The prosecutorís office filed nine claims with the Leninsky district court of Samara against ISPs on 3 December, demanding that they restrict access to these sites. The claims have been accepted by the court for review.
It became known on 13 December that the court had upheld a claim by the Leninsky district prosecutorís office of Magnitogorsk, requiring three ISPs to restrict access to an online store selling poisonous and psychotropic substances. The store website had been identified by the prosecutorís office in the course of the internet monitoring.
On 19 December it was reported that the prosecutorís office of Armavir had identified 21 websites containing information on the ways to manufacture and use drugs, as well as their points of sale. The city prosecutorís office filed a lawsuit against the ISPs demanding that access to these sites be restricted.
And the rest …
On 13 December it was reported that the Federal Drug Control Service had added the portal for the Meder Beauty cosmetics brand www.mederbeauty.com to the register of banned sites. The ISP Beeline blocked the site. A large number of websites were using the same IP-address, and the FDCS only had issues with one of these sites. As of 15 December the portal, once again, was accessible to public.
On 4 December it became known that the Stavropol regional prosecutorís office had in the course of an audit found more than 30 publicly accessible websites offering educational certificates for sale. The prosecutorís office filed court claims against the ISPs Rostelecom and Equant, demanding that access to these sites be blocked. The court granted the request of the prosecutorís office in full.
It became known on 6 December that the Soviet district court in Orel had dismissed the prosecutorís office claim against the ISP Resurs Svyaz, requesting to block access to Wikipedia.
The prosecutorís office had demanded that access to the Wikipedia ďRussian obscenitiesĒ page be restricted for students of School No 22. The prosecutorís office also insisted on blocking the website for Versailles Entertainment Center, which, according to the prosecutors, was advocating the use of ďlaughing gasĒ. In the course of the trial it became clear that the plaintiff had conducted no research on whether the pages in question truly contained any prohibited content, and whether the Wikipedia page in fact contained obscenities. The ISP said that if it was forced to block this page, its clients would probably lose access to the whole of Wikipedia.
In addition, it was found that students of Orel had not been aware of these pages prior to the prosecutorís investigation, and had never viewed them, visiting only the websites recommended by the Ministry of Education. Visits to the ďRussian obscenitiesĒ Wikipedia page grew 20-fold as a result of the prosecutorís office investigation.
The court decided to reject the request of the prosecutorís office. The prosecutor has 30 days to appeal the decision.
On 4 December it was announced that on 30 November Yoshkar-Ola city court had upheld the claim of the prosecutorís office of the Republic to block access to the website that contained information ďinciting corrupt behaviorĒ. The website posted an article on ďHow to give a bribeĒ along with comments, where readers shared their respective experiences.
A Chronicle of Russian Internet Filtering / November 2012admin 08.01.2013 00:52:00
A Chronicle of Russian Internet Filtering /†November 2012
It became apparent in November that internet filtering introduced in Russia under the pretext of protecting children is actually for a different reason. Six videos of feminist punk group Pussy Riot were banned by the Moscow court in November, and now Google is required to remove the clips from YouTube.
At the same time, regional authorities were busy demanding that local Internet Service Providers(ISPs) to block access to online casinos, gaming sites and sites advertising fake diplomas — obviously the result of November’s new development.
As in October, many websites were deemed to be extremist, and local ISPs were requested to block access to them. Libraries were criticised for having computers with unrestricted access to banned websites, and it was requested that they install internet filtering systems. The authorities started a campaign to check how effective schools are protecting children from improper content. As a result, schools were obliged to install content-filtering systems.
And, inevitably, only a month after the national register of banned websites was launched numerous errors were reported: by mistake the whole of Googleís blogging service Blogger (blogspot.com) was included in the register, along with anonymiser service and even YouTube, which was on the register for a few hours.
On 29 November, a Moscow district court demanded the removal of six videos of Pussy Riot from the web, for being “extremists”, including a video of three members performing a ďpunk prayerĒ on the altar of Moscowís Christ the Saviour Cathedral in February 2012, in protest of Vladimir Putin. Three Pussy Riot members, Nadia Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina were sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. Samutsevich was released from prison after she appealed her case.
The court decision lists the IP addresses which should be added to the national register ó including YouTube, Pussy Riotís blog, and their page on LiveJournal.
Here is a list of what was filtered in November:
Commerce and Gambling
On 14 November†the Prosecutorís Office of Karbardino-Balkaria reported that it had carried out an audit of compliance with legislation on higher professional education, and in the process prosecutors found publicly available websites offering educational documents for sale, including diplomas, certificates, authorisations and verifications letters. The prosecutors filed claims in court, requesting that access to the website be restricted.
On 21 November,††the General Prosecutorís Office of the Russian Federation announced that the Ust-Ilimsk Interdistrict Prosecutorís office found sites advertising Sergei Mavrodiís ďMMM-2012Ē project. Prosecutors called for ISPs to block websites promoting the project, on the grounds that it ďpossesses attributes of a pyramid schemeĒ. The court approved the request.
On 27 November†it was reported that the Prosecutorís office in the Lahdenpohja district of Karelia conducted an audit to ensure compliance with a ban on online gambling, and found publicly accessible online gambling sites, with electronic payment systems. The Prosecutorís Office filed a claim with the Lahdenpohja District court against the local ISP aiming to limit access to the sites.
Also on 27 November,†the prosecutorís office in the Ardon district of North Ossetia reportedly carried out an audit to ensure compliance with the ban on online gambling, and found that users were still able to access such sites. The prosecutorís office then filed 15 court claims against the Internet provider Rostelecom, demanding that it restrict access to these sites. The lawsuit is pending.
On 12 November The Kostroma Regional Prosecutor Office announced that the Pyschugskii District Prosecutorís Office had conducted an inspection to verify compliance with the anti-extremist legislation in educational institutions. The audit found that in several district schools the content filters failed to block studentsí access to extremist materials.
Following the audit, five motions were sent out to the school directors regarding the impermissibility of violating the law. Based on the results of the subsequent review, seven people faced disciplinary charges.
In November the Kaluga Regional Prosecutorís Office, in the course of an audit of compliance with legislation on countering extremism, identified several educational institutions that used no content filtering software. In particular, the students of Obninsk Industrial Technical School had access to materials that contained propaganda of racial and ethnic intolerance.
Similar violations were identified in Kaluga, and Ferzikovskii, Baryatinskii, Medynskii, Yukhnovskii, Zhukovskii, Peremyshlskii, Suhinichskii, Kirovskii and Lyudinovskii Districts.
Based on the results of the audit, 27 protests and 31 court claims have been filed this year, and 23 officials have faced disciplinary liability. All of the violations have been addressed.
On 30 November it was reported that the Elets District Prosecutorís Office had conducted an inspection of educational institutions in order to verify their compliance with the legislation aimed at protecting children from harmful information. Violations were found at several schools, including schools in the village of Talitsa, towns of Yeletskii, Sokolie and Solidarností, and the village of Ekaterinovka. The Internet filtering software in those schools had failed to block dangerous materials. As a result, students had been able to access web sites that contained incitement to extremist activities, instructions on smoking implements, and information on methods to commit suicide.
The school directors received requests to cease violations. Those responsible have faced disciplinary charges.
In early November, Lipetsk Regional Prosecutorís Office reported that the Soviet District Prosecutorís Office of Lipetsk had conducted an audit of compliance with the legislation on countering extremist activity and identified some schools that provided access to extremist materials.
In particular, it was found that Lipetsk State Technical University students had access to the writings by Adolf Hitler. The items, featured on the Federal List of Extremist Materials were also available to students of Vocational School Ļ 2.
The Prosecutorís office asked the court that the Lipetsk branch of Rostelecom restrict access to these materials. The court granted the request of the Prosecutorís Office.
On 6 November the ruling by the Tver Court of Moscow came into effect that recognized The Innocence of Muslims Video as extremist. There were no appeals, and now the movie is to be included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.
Errors and others
The ďblacklistĒ of illegal materials also came to include the 4chan.org imageboard – a popular resource for anonymous publication and discussion of images. The reasons for its inclusion on the register are unknown.
During the first two weeks of its existence, 180 web pages were added to the Register of prohibited sites, 41 of which were to be blocked. Among other resources, the list of prohibited materials came to include Russiaís largest torrent tracker Rutracker.org, the lib.rus.ec digital library, the online encyclopedia Lurkmore.to, and one of the pages from the VKontakte social network. Rutracker.org was added to the list for distributing the Suicide Encyclopedia; Vkontakte for a page by the ďRussian BreivikĒ; lib.rus.ec Ė for publishing The Anarchist Cookbook; and Lurkmore.to †for allegedly promoting drugs.
On 12 November through 14 November, 21 items were deleted from the Register, including the above-named sites.
On 21 November, YouTube temporarily appeared on the list, but was removed after only a few hours. Roskomnadzor reported that the website had removed objectionable content in a timely manner, but still ended up on the list due to a technical failure.
In addition, the anonymizer service hangonet.dyndns.org/proxy and its IP-address 18.104.22.168 were added to the Register. This service allows the user to hide his or her IP-address in order to gain access to blocked sites. Notably, the ďblack listĒ contains the URL of the service, which leads to a different resource instead of the principal address of the service.
In late November, the IP address of the Blogspot.com blogging service was included on the register of sites that contain information, distribution of which is prohibited in the Russian Federation. Roskomnadzor included it on the register on November 24 at the initiative of the Federal Service for Drug Control. This address also holds Google fonts, Chrome browser plug-ins, and Gmail file attachments.
Google management reported that it had received no notification regarding inappropriate information and was unable to remove it in a timely manner, since the Roskomnadzorís notification had been mistakenly sent to a different address.
The IP-address for Blogspot.com has since been taken off the register, but during its time on the list Google users complained about the loss of some Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Play functionality.
Internet-filtering. October 2012admin 08.11.2012
A Chronicle of Russian Internet Filtering /†October 2012
In October of 2012, many Regional Prosecutor’s Offices continued to issue warnings to Internet providers for not blocking access to “The Innocence of Muslims,” despite the fact that the October 1 decision by the Tver District Court of Moscow to recognize the video as extremist did not come into effect until October 17.
ó On October 12, 2012, the Astrakhan Regional Prosecutorís Office filed five claims with Astrakhan district courts requesting that providers restrict access to the 45 addresses through which ďThe Innocence of MuslimsĒ was available.† The Tver Court of Moscow had declared this film to be extremist, but the court decision was still not in effect at that time.†
ó On October 16, the Prosecutor's Office of the Ivanovo Region issued warnings to the Internet provider companies Svyaz-Contract and AiDiSi.
ó The same day, the Prosecutor's Office in Chelyabinsk issued warnings to 15 regionís Internet providers for failing to block the video.
On October 1, 2012, it was reported that the Prosecutorís Office of the Ipatovsk district in the Stavropol Region found a violation in the course of its audit.† Public access was being provided to the site, containing the text of Abu Hamid al-Ghazaliís Council for Kings, a medieval theological treatise included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.† The same audit revealed that several Web sites contained information for obtaining a fake driver's license without training or examinations.
óIn the Ivanovo Region, Upon Request from Federal Security Service Directorate, the Prosecutor Demands Restrictions on Access to Jehovah's Witness Web sites
On October 1, 2012, it was reported that the Prosecutorís Office of the Soviet District in the Ivanovo Region had conducted an audit, upon request from Federal Security Service Directorate, and identified two publicly accessible Jehovah's Witnesses Web sites.† These Web sites contained electronic editions of publications previously declared to be extremist by a court decision. The Prosecutor's Office issued warnings to the Internet provider Interkomtel regarding the violation of anti-extremist legislation.† It has requested that access to these materials be restricted.
óThe Vladivostok Prosecutor's Office Ordered Internet Providers to Block Access to a Leaflet Not Yet Declared Extremist
On October 11, 2012, it was reported that during an inspection the Vladivostok Prosecutor's Office found a publicly accessible online leaflet with content that was "hostile, aggressive and humiliating toward the Jews."† The Prosecutorís Office filed a claim with the Lenin District Court in order to block access to the Web site which posted the leaflet, but the motion was denied. The board on civil cases of the Primorye Regional Court overturned this decision, finding that the Prosecutorís request was an extremism-preventing measure. An appellate court ordered major regional Internet providers to restrict access to said material.
†Note that the leaflet in question has never been legally declared extremist.
†óThe Prosecutor's Office in the Irkutsk Region Ordered Internet Providers to Block Access to Extremist Web Sites
On October 11, 2012, it was reported that the City Prosecutors Office of Shelekhov in the Irkutsk Region has conducted an audit of compliance with anti-extremist legislation. During the inspection they found the Web site of a banned organization within access to the public.† This Web site contained texts included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials which were aimed at inciting national and religious hatred, and contained justifications of terrorism. As a result of the audit, ten regional Internet providers received warnings with orders to cease the violation.† Upon the prosecutorís orders, access to the extremist Web site has been blocked.†
óA District Prosecutor's Office in Ufa Issues Requests to Limit Student Access to Extremist Materials
October 15, 2012, it was reported that the Prosecutorís Office of Ufaís Demski District filed court claims against several educational institutions, where, as established in the course of inspection, students were able to get online access to extremist materials. The Prosecutorís Office demanded that the management of these institutions install software that restricts access to these materials.
óWeb Sites in the Stavropol Region Are Blocked for Publishing The Russian World Order
†On October 16, 2012, a report was released regarding the April 24, 2012 decision of the Petrovsky District Court of the Stavropol Region to grant the request of the Petrovsky District Prosecutorís Office to order the Internet provider Adopt Plus to restrict access to Web sites containing the electronic version of Yuri Petukhovís The Russian World Order.† This book is included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.
On the same day, we found out about the May 4, 2012 decision of the Arzgir District Court of the Stavropol Region to recognize a Web site as extremist for posting information on manufacturing explosives.† Dissemination of such information is now prohibited.
óAn Internet Service Provider in the Belgorod Region Received a Court Order to Restrict Access to Extremist Materials
†On October 17, 2012, it was announced that Shebekino Interdistrict Prosecutor's Office of the Belgorod Region filed a lawsuit against the Internet provider Rostelecom, demanding that it restrict access to 14 sites that have posted materials included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.† The court granted the claim of the Prosecutor's Office and ordered the service provider to install filtering software.
óAccess to a Number of Web Sites Restricted in the Tver Region
On October 17, 2012, it was reported that the Shakhovsky District Prosecutorís Office of the Tver Region found in the course of inspection that a publicly accessible Web site contained Chernaya Gvardiia Gitlera [Hitlerís Black Guard], a book listed on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.†
In addition, some sites were providing links to online casinos, where users could take part in gambling, including the use of bank cards.
Based on the results of the audit, the Prosecutor's Office filed two claims requesting that access to the offending Web sites be restricted. Providers were asked to install DNS-level filtering of domain names.† Due to the voluntary compliance by the Internet provider Technologii Domovykh Setei [Home Network Technologies], the hearing of the claim was terminated.
óAs a Result of the Prosecutorís Claim, a Perm Internet Provider Blocked Access to Mein Kampf
On October 18, 2012, it became known that the Leninsky District Prosecutorís Office in the city of Perm filed a claim against a local provider, requesting to restrict access to Web sites, posting the text of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf. The Leninsky District Court of Perm granted the request of the Prosecutor's Office. The provider has blocked access to the text, recognized as extremist.
†Other Internet service providers operating in the city put no restrictions on access to Mein Kampf
óProsecutors in the Saratov Region Require Internet Providers to Block 20 Web Sites†
On October 22, the Saratov Regional Prosecutorís Office filed 20 court claims against Internet providers requiring them to restrict access to 20 Web sites containing extremist material.† On these sites the Prosecutor's Office had identified materials containing calls for extremist activities, terrorism, or incitements toward hatred or enmity.
óThe North Ossetia Prosecutorís Office Moves to Restrict Access to 33 Sites
†On October 22, 2012, the North Ossetia Prosecutor's Office reported that it had required Internet providers Rostelecom, Global Alania, and Twingo Telecom to restrict access to 33 sites containing texts included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. These materials had been identified during audits for compliance with the law on combating extremist activity.† The Prosecutor's Office demanded that these providers install IP-address filtering on their border routers.
óThe Yamalo- Nenets Autonomous District Prosecutors Demand Access Restrictions for 6 Sites
On October 23, 2012, the Nenets Autonomous District Prosecutorís office, in the course of an audit for compliance with the law on combating extremist activity, found sites included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials to be publicly accessible. Therefore, the Prosecutor's Office filed claims in the October District Court against the Arkhangelsk branch of the Internet provider Rostelecom, requiring it to block access to the following sites: "Imarata Kavkaz," "Vilaiata Dagestan," "Veles Sloboda," "Partiia Boríby za Narodnoe SchastieĒ [Party of the struggle for the people's happiness], and ďhistorical and journalistic resources of the recipient of the ‘Hero of the Nationí order.Ē†
óThe Orel Regional Prosecutorís Office Requests to Restrict Student Access to Anti-Semitic Material
On October 24, 2012, Liven Interdistrict Prosecutor's Office demanded that Rostelecom block a Web site featuring Oray Volotís book Krysolyudi, which is included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.† In the course of inspection, the prosecutors found that students of Uspenskaya High School had access to this anti-Semitic book.†
óA Prosecutor in St. Petersburg Restricts Access to a Number of Extremist Web Sites
On October 25, 2012, the Krasnogvardeisky District Prosecutor's Office of Petersburg filed claims against Internet providers Infotech and Aikonet, requesting that each provider restrict access to a number of Web sites identified during the inspection to contain public calls to extremist activity or terrorism, or incitements to racial, national or religious hatred. The Prosecutorís office also demanded restricted access to the Web sites of several banned organizations. The court granted the claim of the Prosecutor's Office in full.†
Similar charges were filed by the Prosecutorís Offices of Admiralteiskii, Kirovskii, Petrogradskii, Primorski, Pushkinskii and Tsentralnyi Districts of St. Petersburg.† In addition, the Prosecutorís Offices of Admiralteiskii, Vasilievskii, Vyborgskii, Krasnoselskii, Krasnogvardeyskii, Moskovskii, Nevskii, Petrogradskii, Petrodvoretskii, and Primorskii districts made 59 motions, 21 warnings, and presented 69 petitions requesting that in the case of secondary school students, restrictions be placed on accessibility to extremist sites and sites with information on making improvised explosive devices.
Libraries and Wikipedia
ó"Lib.rus.ec" Internet Library is Blocked in Altai
On October 3, 2012, it was reported that by request of the Prosecutor's Office of the Altai Republic, providers blocked access to the popular Internet library Lib.rus.ec. The Prosecutor's Office did not demand a restriction of the entire resource, only access to extremist materials. However, providers were technically unable to block individual pages and closed access to the entire library.† This restriction was done "voluntarily, without court intervention.Ē
óA Prosecutor in Orel is Trying to Block Wikipedia†
On October 22, 2012, it became known that the Soviet District Prosecutorís Office in Orel filed a lawsuit against the Internet provider Resurs Svyaz.† It required a restriction of access to the Wikipedia page on ďRussian obscenitiesĒ for students of one of the city's schools, citing the use of ďobscene words.Ē The Prosecutorís Office also requested that access to the Web site for Versailles Entertainment Center be restricted for advocating the use of ďlaughing gas.Ē† A representative from Resurs Svyaz, commenting on the Prosecutorís demand, wrote on his blog that the provider does not have the technical capabilities to block specific pages, so it will be forced to restrict access to the entire Wikipedia site by its IP-address. The provider has not yet come to a final decision regarding these Internet resources.†
óThe Surgut Court Issued a Decision to Block Web Sites for Pro-Drug Propaganda
On October 15, 2012, it was reported that the District Prosecutorís Office of Surgut, as a result of its audit of compliance with the law on combating illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, filed a lawsuit against the Internet provider Yugratel. The prosecutors sought to limit access to several Web sites that advertised drugs and psychotropic substances. The Surgut City Court granted the request of the Prosecutor's Office in full.
óThe City of Chapaevsk in the Samara Region Moves to Restrict Access to Web sites that Promote Drug Use.
In October 18, 2012, it became known that the Lenin District Court granted two claims, filed by the Chapayevskiy District Prosecutorís Office, to restrict access to sites that promoted the use of drugs and psychotropic substances. The Prosecutor's Office monitors their compliance with the court judgment.
… And the rest
óAccess to MMM Company Web Sites Are Restricted in Tomsk and the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District
On October 10, 2012, it was announced that the Nefteyugansk Interdistrict Prosecutor's Office filed a claim against the Internet provider Nefteyuganskii Zavod po Remontu Radiotelevizionnoi Apparatury [Nefteyugansk Radio and Television Sets Repair Factory]. It requested that the provider restrict access to the Web sites "MMM-2011" and "MMM-2012." An inspection conducted by the Prosecutorís Office found that these Web sites, owned by Sergey Mavrodi, offered financial services to citizens, despite the fact that the advertised projects were not registered as legal entities. Nefteyuganskii Zavod po Remontu Radiotelevizionnoi Apparatury complied with the Prosecutorís request and restricted access to the aforementioned Web sites by adding an IP-address filter at its border router.
On October 12, 2012, we received information about a similar situation in the Tomsk region.† The Tomsk Prosecutorís Office filed a claim against an Internet provider in order to restrict access to the "MMM-2011" Web site, which was found to possess attributes of a pyramid scheme.† In the course of the court deliberations, the provider has agreed to block access voluntarily.
óUpon Request of the Stavropol Regional Prosecutor's Office, a Court Ordered Providers to Restrict Access to Pro-Suicide Web Sites
On October 10, 2012, the October District Court granted the petition of the Stavropol Regional Prosecutor's Office to restrict access to Web sites that contain pro-suicide propaganda. In order to abide by the courtís decision, the Stavropol branches of Internet providers Rostelecom and Equant are required to set up content filters.†
óThe Case of Blocking 20 Web Sites in the Rostov Region Goes for a New Trial
On October 20, 2012, it was announced that the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation had granted an appeal from the Prosecutor Generalís Office, sending the case against the Rostov branch of Internet provider Rostelecom to a new trial.††
†In 2011, the Prosecutorís Office requested the court require the provider to block 20 sites that posted information detailing various ways to commit suicide.† In September of that year, the Leninsky District Court of Rostov-on-Don granted the claim, but the provider managed to appeal the decision.† A panel of civil case judges of the Rostov Regional Court reversed the District Courtís decision.† The Regional Prosecutor's Office appealed to the Prosecutor General's Office, with a motion to submit an appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court invalidated the decision made by the panel of judges of the regional court and ordered a new panel of appeal judges to hold a retrial.†
The battles over the Register
óThe Ministry of Communications Suggested That Internet Companies Maintain a Register of Banned Sites on Their Own
On October 12, 2012, the Ministry of Communications held a meeting with representatives of the Russian Association of Electronic Communications (RAEC), consisting of the largest Internet companies. The meeting was devoted to an upcoming entry into force of law (starting November 1) on blocking access to Web sites which disseminate banned information. The Ministry of Communications has proposed that Internet companies along with "civil society representatives" and "other respected people" should form an organization, charged with maintaining a register of banned Web sites.†
Representatives of major Internet companies expressed no desire to participate in such an organization. In particular, Marina Zhunich, the Google Russia Director for Cooperation with Authorities noted that in this case, they would have to enter IP-addresses and domain names into the list of banned Web sites.† The companies "were opposed to this blocking method, which can restrict all access to an otherwise legitimate site." In her opinion, the registry should be maintained by the state.† Internet companies could then join the Community Council, which would monitor enforcement of the law.†
óRoskomnadzor Came to a Decision Regarding the Place to Publish the List of Banned Web Sites
On October 26, 2012, Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) announced that the list of Web sites containing banned information was going to be posted on zapret-info.gov.ru.
On November 1, 2012, the Federal Law "On Protection of Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development" comes into force.† This law mandates the creation of a "single register for domain names and site network address for the identification of sites that contain information, distribution of which is prohibited in the Russian Federation"(EAIS register).†
Until a party is determined to be permanently responsible for maintaining the register, the responsibility for maintaining it falls to Roskomnadzor.† Portal zapret-info.gov.ru will send notifications to providers hosting Web sites included on the register.
†Roskomnadzor stated, "After three days from the moment of notification, during which the owner of the site and/or the hosting provider must act under the laws of the Russian Federation to remove the prohibited information and/or restrict access to the site...Roskomnadzor will inspect the corresponding domain name and/or Internet address of a site for the presence of prohibited content.Ē
Internet-filtering End of September 2012admin 09.10.2012 17:25:00
Internet filtering in Russia
MONITORING End of September 2012
In the Perm Region a court has restricted student access to some online resources†
On September 4, 2012, it was reported that the Prosecutor’s őffice of Kungur in the Perm region discovered that one of the city schools allowed unrestricted access to online resources, which contained information related to propaganda of war, incitement of religious and ethnic hatred, smoking mixtures, drugs and pornography.
The Prosecutor's Office filed charges requesting restrictions against studentsí access to these materials. The court has granted the Prosecutor's Office request.
Roskomnadzor issued a warning to a news website for an anti-Muslim article
On September 21, 2012, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) announced that a warning has been issued to Newsland.ru news website for the article by R. Khalilov "Muslims have shown that they are uncivilized” (http://www.newsland.ru/news/detail/id/1037668 /).
The test has confirmed that that in Moscow this website is no longer available.
In the Moscow Region providers blocked an extremist website upon request from the Prosecutorís Office
The Prosecutorís Office asked the court to demand that the internet providers INTELSEK, AVIEL and Oscar Plus blocked access to the site. The case was soon dismissed due to voluntary compliance with the Prosecutorís request.
In Kirov a site was recognized as extremist for publishing a previously banned brochure.
The Prosecutorís Office filed charges with the Pervomaiskii District Court of Kirov that the website should be recognized as extremist. The court has granted the Prosecutor's Office request. The name of the website that was recognized as extremist has not been reported.
The website Ispovednik.com had been previously recognized as extremist for publishing the same brochure.
Access to the Jehovah's Witnesses website has been blocked in Ulan-Ude
On September 28, 2012, it was announced that the Soviet District Court of Ulan-Ude orderd internet providers Rostelecom, MegaFon", VimpelCom, TransTeleCom Company, Synterra, and Baikalwestcom to block access to the Jehovah's Witnesses website http://www.jw.org.
Back in May 2012, the regional prosecutor's office found in the course of assessment that this wesite features the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials. Therefore, the prosecutor's office filed a lawsuit in order to restrict access to this website.
The court in Grozny ordered restrictions on the distribution of the "Innocence of Muslims" video
†On September 28, 2012 it became known that the Leninsky District Court of Grozny issued a ruling banning the distribution of the "Innocence of Muslims" video, which the Moscow Prosecutor's Office is seeking to ban as extremist. "Prior to the court decision on the current civil case coming into force, there is a need for measures to put a stop on any form of distribution of the "Innocence of Muslims" video, previously accessible online on the VK.COM/video page of Youtube video hosting site, via the Internet or any other sources" the text of the definition states. The court session was attended by representatives of the largest regional providers.
Meanwhile, on September 27, 2012 it was announced that three of the largest mobile and Internet service providers, MTS, Beeline and Megaphone, restricted access to the "Innocence of Muslims" video. Beeline is currently blocking access to the websites that posted the video, so in Chechnya, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Ingushetia, Karachay-Cherkessia, North Ossetia and the Stavropol Region there is no access to .ru or .com versions of YouTube. MTS is blocking access only to the video itself; MegaFon does the same.†
Internet-filtering September 2012admin 08.10.2012 22:16:00
Internet filtering in Russia:
The Prosecutor General's Office and Roskomnadzor require internet providers to restrict access to the video, not yet recognized as extremist.
On September 17, 2012, the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation has filed a lawsuit with Moscow Tver District Court to recognize as extremist the film Innocence of Muslims.† On September 19, despite the fact that the lawsuit had not even been brought to court, let alone receiving a verdict, the Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin sent instructions to the regional prosecutor's offices, ordering them to block access to Web sites that posted the video.
On the same day, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) addressed the communication providers and the journalistic community in a letter, which "strongly recommended" restricting access to the video even “not waiting for the court judgment."
Regional prosecutors require internet providers to block access to Innocence of Muslims video.
Starting on 19 September 2012, the regional prosecutor’s offices, in compliance with instructions issued by the Prosecutor General's Office to limit access to Innocence of Muslims video, started giving warnings to internet providers for violating the Law on Countering Extremist Activity, and requested that they block access to the video.
Note that the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation filed a lawsuit with Moscow Tver District Court to recognize Innocence of Muslims as extremist on September 17, and it has not been brought to court, meaning, the warnings are being issued for the publication of material, which has not been recognized as extremist.
On September 19 the regional prosecutors of Omsk Region, the prosecutors of Altai, Ingushetia, and Khakassia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Chechnya Republics issued warnings to local internet providers.
On September 20 similar warnings came from St. Petersburg Prosecutor's Office, and the prosecutors of †Republic of Buryatia, the regional prosecutors of Khanty-Mansi, Chukotka, Kamchatka, Stavropol, Khabarovsk, Belgorod, Kemerovo, Murmansk, Novgorod, and Ryazan regions, and Teykov Inter-district Prosecutor's Office of the Ivanovo region.
The Prosecutorís Office in Khabarovsk Krai issues a request to restrict access to the books by Goebbels.
On September 6, 2012, it became known that the Prosecutorís Office of Khabarovsk Krai had filed eight lawsuits requesting providers to restrict access to information.
In particular, the books in question were "The Diaries of Joseph Goebbels, 1945," and ďSS Member and the Blood Question:.† The prosecutorís office demanded that the provider, VimpelCom, Ltd, restricted access to the books.
The Khabarovsk Central Court granted the request from the prosecutor's office requiring providers to restrict access to the books.
It has been reported that similar claims were filed against internet providers Redkom-Internet, Prestige-Internet, and Vostoktelecom.
On September 11, 2012 it was reported that Nadym Municipal Court in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District District ordered the local branch of Rostelecom to restrict access to sites narod.ru and zhurnal.lib.ru upon request from the Prosecutor's Office of Nadym. An inspection, conducted by the Prosecutorís Office revealed that these sites contained materials included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.
As a result, the local provider VKS-Internet blocked access to all the resources from the lib.ru and narod.ru domains, including the Samizdat magazine of Maksim Moshkovís Library, the oldest Russian online library.
The access was blocked by filtering out the IP-address on the border router.
The Prosecutor's office reminded that the National-Bolshevik Party of Russia was banned in Russia as extremist in 2007.
In compliance with the prosecutor's office request the access to the "National Bolsheviks of Tatarstan" page has been blocked.†
The Stavropol Prosecutorís office orders providers to limit access to websites that promote suicide
Therefore, the Prosecutor's Office filed claims with Lenin District Court and the October District Court of Stavropol, requesting that the courts require providers to restrict access to these sites by utilizing content filters on their border routers.
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