Circling the Lion's Den

A Chronicle of Russian Internet Filtering / April 013

ņŪšūŚť 01.05.2013 00:00:00

A Chronicle of Russian Internet Filtering / April 2013

April saw bizarre variety of sites blocked by the Russian authorities or Internet service providers: among them Wikipedia (for a few days for a page on cannabis), the Yandex search engine, sites promoting bribery and corruption and sites of land developers, blogspot.com alongside Android blog, Absurdopedia (the Russian version of Uncyclopedia). Even the parody web site Gospoisk (gossearch.ru) was blocked. The site is a fake search engine, ostensibly created with government support - when a visitor types a query in the search box, he is asked to enter his first and last name, patronymic, passport details, address and the reason for the request.

Education and schools

Prosecutors Seek to Shield Students from Extremist Materials in Bashkortostan

On April 22, 2013, the Office of Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Bashkortostan reported that the Buzdyaksky District Prosecutor’s Office filed a complaint in court, requesting to limit student access to extremist materials.

High school students in the towns of Tyuryushevo, Tashlykul, Kopei-Kubovo and Gafuri of Budzyaksky District had access to these sites. No content filtering software was installed on the school computers.

Prosecutors Shielded Students from Undesirable Information in Kalmykia

On April 17, 2013, the Kalmykia Republic Prosecutorís Office reported that computers in seven schools of Lagansky District allowed access to extremist materials as well as materials that advocate violence and cruelty.†The District Prosecutor's Office filed seven claims against the regional branch of Rostelecom with requests to limit access to the identified resources.†On April 16, the court granted two claims; the remaining five claims were dropped due to the providerís voluntary compliance with the requests of Prosecutorís Office.

Prosecutors Seek to Block Several Web Sites in Togliatti

On April 17, 2013, the Samara Regional Prosecutor's Office reported that students of several educational institutions in Togliatti had access to undesirable sites.

The Tsentralny District Prosecutor's Office of Togliatti sent motions to the administration of Togliatti College of Service Technology and Entrepreneurship, the Inter-school Educational Plant and Secondary School No. 5 to cease the violations.†In addition, the Prosecutor's Office has filed 48 lawsuits in order to block access to extremist materials and to Web sites containing information on smoking blends.

A Court Ordered School Administration to Shield Students from Harmful Web Sites in the Nizhny Novgorod Region

On April 18, 2013, it became known that the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court ordered the administration of the Diveevsk secondary school to block student access to Web sites with information about illegal drugs and pornographic materials. The school has 30 days to comply with the court's decision.

Prosecutors Shielded Students from Neo-Nazi Materials in Karelia,

On April 19, 2013, the Republic of Karelia Prosecutorís Office reported on an audit of compliance with federal legislation concerning the priority national project “Education,” conducted in schools of Sortavalsky District.

In the course of the inspection, school computers in five schools were found to provide access to extremist Web sites. In particular, students had access to the texts of the songs by the music band Kolovrat - "Honour and BloodĒ (Kroví i chestí), ďRussiaĒ (Rossiia), ďThe Aryan RevengeĒ (Ariysky Revansh), ďMoscow skinheads" (Moskovskiye Britogolovye), "Glory to Russia" (Slava Rossii) - included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. In addition, they found the following books from the Federal List to be publicly accessible: Memoirs by Alfred Rosenberg, Rechi Varga. Vargsmal and Rechi Varga II. Varg Vikernes.

Based on the results of the audit, the Sortavala Prosecutor's Office sent corresponding motions to the administration of these schools. The identified violations have been eliminated, and the guilty parties faced disciplinary charges.

Prosecutors Seek to Shield Students from Illegal Content in the Kursk Region

On April 11, 2013, it was reported that the Zheleznogorsky District Prosecutorís Office in the Kursk Region filed a lawsuit against an Internet provider demanding that it limit access of students from several educational institutions to harmful Web sites.

Earlier, a prosecutorial inspection established that computers in the Vocational School or Arts and the Vocational School of Service and Commerce in Zheleznogorsk allowed access to extremist Web sites and to Web sites with information about points of sale and manufacture of illegal drugs.

Omsk Prosecutors Call for Protecting Students from Extremist Materials

On April 11, 2013, it was reported that prosecutors established the fact of public access to extremist materials from computers installed in the classrooms of three Omsk schools (the names of these educational institutions were not reported).

Based on the results of the audit, the Prosecutorís Office send three motions to the administrators of these educational institutions, and went to court, demanding that student access to extremist Web sites be blocked.

Prosecutors Seek to Limit Student Access to Extremist Web Sites in Chukotka

On April 5, 2013 it was reported that the Anadyr District Prosecutorís Office found students of S. Vaenga Center for Education Municipal Educational Institution to have access to extremist and pornographic Web sites, since the institutionís computers had no content filters installed.

The Head of the S. Vaenga Center of Education received a motion to eliminate violations.

Prosecutors Seek to Protect School Children from Harmful Information in the Komi Republic.

On April 4, 2013, the Komi Republic Prosecutorís Office reported that the Izhemskiy District Prosecutorís Office had found Web sites with propaganda of illegal drugs or extremism accessible from computers of the secondary schools in Kelchiyur and Nyashabozh. In addition, students in these schools had access to pornography.

The Prosecutorís Office submitted a motion to the Head of the Education Department of the Izhemskiy District Administration to cease the violations. The perpetrators faced disciplinary charges.

Prosecutors Seek to Shield Students from Extremist Materials in the Tula Region

On April 4, 2013, it became known that the Novomoskovsk City Prosecutorís Office in the Tula Region established that the content filtering systems, installed on computers in Novomoskovsk Polytechnic College, were failing to adequately protect students from harmful information. Specifically, students had access to publications included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.

Similar violations were detected in High School No. 17 of Novomoskovsk. The motions were sent to the heads of these educational institutions with the request to cease the identified violations.

The Lipetsk Regional Prosecutorís Office Ordered the Internet Providers to Block Student Access to Extremist Content

On April 3, 2013, the Lipetsk Regional Prosecutorís Office reported that the Prosecutorís Offices of Dobrinsky, Dolgorukovsky and Lev-Tolstovsky Districts as well as Sovetsky District Prosecutorís Office of Lipetsk found several few Web sites containing extremist material to be publicly accessible from the school computers. It happened despite the fact that the schools had content filtering systems installed.

The Prosecutorís Office ordered the ISPs to restrict student access to extremist materials.

Extremism

A Court Ordered the Internet Service Provider to Block Extremist Web Site in Vladivostok,

On April 23, 2013, the Primorsky Regional Prosecutor's Office announced that the Vladivostok City Prosecutor's Office had filed a lawsuit against an internet provider for failing to restrict access to the site, which housed more than 560 publications included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. The prosecutors demanded that access to these materials be blocked.

The Frunzenskiy District Court of Vladivostok granted the request of the Prosecutor's Office.

A Prosecutorís Office in Kamchatka Requests to Block Access to Extremist Web Site

On April 23, 2013, the Kamchatka Regional Prosecutor's Office reported that the Yelizovo City Prosecutor's Office had filed a lawsuit demanding that the Internet provider AMH restrict access to the Web site, which contained †materials recognized in court as extremist.

Prosecutors Request to Limit Student Access to Extremist Web Sites in the Saratov Region

On April 23, 2013, it was reported that the Atkarskiy Inter-District Prosecutor's Office of the Saratov Region, in the course of an audit, found Web sites with extremist materials to be accessible from computers installed in the computer labs of several schools.

Based on the results of the audit, the administration of these schools received 9 motions to cease the identified violations.

Access to the Extremist Video Was Blocked Upon Prosecutorial Request in Vladivostok

On April 24, 2013, it was reported that the Pervomaiskiy District Prosecutorís Office of Vladivostok sent a motion to the director of Dalniy Vostok Macro-regional Branch of Rostelecom requesting the removal from hosting dsv.video.disland.ru of a video materials ďwith content, identical to the video Poslednee interviiu Primorskikh Partizan (The Last Interview of Primorye Guerillas), listed on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.Ē The provider complied with the Prosecutorís Office demands.

Roscomnadzor Issued Warnings to Several Web Sites for Reporting about a Novosibirsk Artist

On April 22, 2013, Roscomnadzor issued warnings for "inciting religious hatred" to editors and founders of sites Grani.ru, Polit.ru, Obeschaniya.Ru and the portal Sibkray.ru for publishing material on Novosibirsk artist and activist Artem Loskutov.

Loskutov was fined for insulting religious feelings, for distributing T-shirts with the image of the Pussy Riot collective stylized as a devotional icon. The aforementioned media outlets reported on the fines.

A Prosecutorís Office in Nizhny Novgorod Demands Blocking the Web Site that Published Fruits of Belief

On April 15, 2013, the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Prosecutor's Office reported that the text of the book Fruits of Belief from the Risale-i-Nur collection, included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials, was found to be publicly available.

The Moscovsky District Prosecutor's Office of Nizhny Novgorod filed six claims with the district court against to the Internet providers Technologiia and UNIT, demanding that they limit access to the material, possibly blocking the entire site.

Access to the Site That Published an Extremist Book Was Limited by Court Decision in Barnaul

On April 16, 2013, the Altai Regional Prosecutor's Office reported that on March 26 a court granted the petition of the Leninsky District Prosecutor's Office of Barnaul against the Internet Provider SibGruppInvest. According to the courtís decision, the provider must restrict access to the Web site, which published the book The World after the Race War, recognized as extremist.

The court's decision has not yet entered into force.

A Court Recognized Ingushetiyaru.org Web Site as Extremist

On April 4, 2013, the Magassky District Court declared the oppositional Web site Ingushetiyaru.org to be extremist. The Prosecutorís Office found signs of extremism in the materials published on the site.

A Samara Court Banned Access to Hizb ut-Tahrir Web Sites

On April 17, 2013, the Leninsky District Court of Samara granted 4 claims of the Prosecutorís Office against the Internet providers Kraft-S and Kraft-Telecom, in which it requested restrictions on access to several Hizb ut-Tahrir Web sites. The claims were granted in full.

A Prosecutor's Office Requires Restricting Student Access to Extremist Websites in the Saratov Region

On April 9, 2013, it was reported that the Perelyubsky District Prosecutorís Office of the city of Balakovo in the Saratov Region found that the content filters installed in the district's schools did not provide sufficient protection of students from harmful information. In particular, students had access to Web sites containing extremist materials.

The Prosecutorís Office directed a corresponding motion to the Head of the Department of Education in the Perelyubsky Municipal Area Administration.

A Court Blocked Extremist Websites in North Ossetia

On April 9, 2013, it was announced that the Zaterechny District Prosecutorís Office in Vladikavkaz filed five court claims with requests to block a number of Web sites (www.invivio.net, www.kinopod.ru, www.kinofilms.tv, www.yahoou.ru, www.video.bigmir.net), that contained the film The Eternal Jew (Vechny zhid) and the book White Primer (Belyi Bukvarí), included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. The court granted the claims of the Prosecutor's Office in full.

Ufa Prosecutors Want to Block a Site That Features an Extremist Book

On April 11, 2013, it became known that the Kirov District Prosecutorís Office in Ufa filed a claim against local Internet providers. The prosecutors demanded that the providers TTK-Center, BashTelekomServis and Sotovaia Sviazí Bashkortostana limit access to the sites that published Yuri Mukhin's book Za derzhavu obidno †included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.

Prosecutors Seek to Limit Access to Hizb ut-Tahrir Web Sites in Samara

On April 1, 2013, it became known that the Samara City Prosecutorís Office identified two publicly accessible Hizb ut-Tahrir Web sites.

Based on this data, the Prosecutorís Office sent to the Courts of Leninsky, Samarsky and Zheleznodorozhny Districts of Samara 32 claims demanding that providers restrict access to the identified sites.

Prosecutors Request Blocking a Web Site That Published Mein Kampf in Samara

On April 2, 2013, the Samara Regional Prosecutorís Office said that the Samarsky District Prosecutorís Office of Samara found a Web site with the text of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.

The Prosecutorís Office asked the court to demand that the ISP Informatsionnyi Meditsinsky Tsentr limit access to this site.


Suicide propoganda

A Suicide-Related Web Site Is Restricted by Court Order in the Orenburg Region

On April 22, 2013, the Novotroitskiy City Court of the Orenburg Region granted a claim of the Novotroitskiy City Prosecutorís Office against an internet provider, in which the prosecutors demanded restrictions on access to a Web site that contained information on ways to commit suicide.

Gambling and casinos

A Court Ordered the Internet Provider to Restrict Access to Gambling Web Sites in Udmurtia.

On April 16, 2013, it was reported that the Glazov Inter-District Prosecutor's Office in Udmurtia asked the court to order the local Internet provider Krein to restrict access to a number of online casinos. The court granted the request of the Prosecutorís Office in full.

Ulyanovsk Prosecutors Demand Restrictions on Access to Gambling Web Sites

On April 16, 2013, it was reported that the Zasviyazhskiy District Prosecutor's Office of Ulyanovsk has filed a lawsuit against the Internet Provider DARS-IP demanding that it block access to foreign gambling sites.

The Web sites in question include Eurogrand, Prestigecasino, Azartplay, Casino.williamhill, Cristal-slots, and Twistcasino.

A court ordered the Internet Provider to Block 25 Web Sites in Karelia.

On April 17, 2013, the Office of the Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Karelia reported that the Medvezhiegorsky District Court granted in full the request of the District Prosecutor's Office to restrict access to 25 gambling Web sites.†The ISP must now block access to these sites.

A Court Banned Access to of Online Casino Sites in the Samara Region

On April 19, 2013, the Samara Regional Prosecutor's Office reported that the Leninsky District Court of Chapayevsk had granted 10 claims of the City Prosecutorís Office to restrict access to gambling Web sites.

Court Ordered the ISPs to Block Gambling Web Sites in Samara

On April 19, 2013, the Samara Regional Prosecutor's Office reported that on March 16 the Kirovsky district court of Samara granted two claims by the District Prosecutor's and ordered to restrict access to gambling sites. The Internet providers in the district are required to block the sites.

Prosecutors Issue Request to Block MMM Web Site in Kaliningrad

On April 9, 2013, it became known that the prosecutor of the Moscow district of Kaliningrad had filed a lawsuit against the Internet providers demanding that they limit access to the MMM-2012 Web site.

A gambling site is blocked in the Nizhny Novgorod Region

On March 31, 2013 it was reported that the Nizhegorodsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod granted in full the claim of the Kulebaksk City Prosecutor's Office to limit access to a gambling Web site.

The court's decision has entered into force. The Rostelecom-Volga Branch of Rostelecom restricted access to the Web site by adding IP-address filtering of its address at the border router and filtering by site name on their network servers.

A Court Blocked S.Mavrodiís Web Sites in Karelia

On April 5, 2013, The Karelian Republican Prosecutorís Office reported that the Medvezhiegorsky District Court fully granted the claim of the Prosecutor's Office, demanding restrictions on access to the sites MMM-2011 and MMM-2012.

A Prosecutorís Office Appealed the Refusal of its Claims for Blocking Web Sites in the Orel Region

On April 9, 2013, it was announced that the Judicial Division for Civil Cases of the Orel Regional Court revoked three determinations of the Zavodskoy District Court of the city of Orel. Previously, the district court had refused to consider the Prosecutorís Office requests to restrict access to several Web sites that promote gambling. The Prosecutorís Office appealed the decision and re-filed three lawsuits in the same District Court.


Drugs

Saratov Prosecutors Succeeded in Blocking Web Sites That Inform About Purchasing Drugs

On April 8, 2013, the Saratov Regional Prosecutor's Office announced that the Judicial Division for Civil Cases of the Saratov Regional Court overturned the decision of the Kirov District Court of Saratov of November 27, 2012 to dismiss the claim of the Kirov District Prosecutor's Office. The initial claim requested that the Internet provider Altura limit access to the Web site that tell about places to purchase illegal drugs.

The new decision, issued in the case, granted the requests of the Prosecutorís Office to ban access to this Web site.

Odnoklassniki.ru Blocked Page with Information about Purchasing Drugs.

On April 10, 2013, it was reported that Roscomnadzor added a page from Odnoklassniki.ru social network that contained information about purchasing illegal drugs to the list of banned sites upon request from regional charitable organization Sakhalin without Drugs (Sakhalin bez narkotikov). Access to the page has been closed.

Web Sites Blocked by Court Order in the Chelyabinsk Region

On April 9, 2013, the Chelyabinsk Regional Prosecutor's Office reported that the Yemanzhelinsk City Prosecutorís Office had filed a claim against the Internet provider TelKom requesting to block some pornographic sites as well as sites that promote drug use. The court granted the claim of the Prosecutorís Office.

Wikipedia Gets Blacklisted and then removed from the Black List for its Article on Cannabis Smoking

On April 2, 2013, the administration of Wikipedia was notified that Roscomnadzor was adding the online encyclopedia to the Register of Banned Sites for the entry ďCannabis SmokingĒ. The Wikipedia authors Community is discussing whether to remove the article or just to edit it. On April 10, 2013, it became known that "Cannabis Smoking", the Wikipedia article listed on Register of Banned Sites, had been edited. The links to it were removed from register, and it was not blocked.

Prosecutors Seek to Limit Access to a Web Site Containing Information on Illegal Drugs in the Saratov Region

On April 1, 2013, it was reported that the Saratov Regional Prosecutorís Office prosecution filed court claims against providers in order to block access to 10 sites, telling about the points of sale for illegal drugs and methods of their use.

And the rest

Rostelecom Blocked Yandex for Several Minutes

On April 23, 2013, the Internet provider Rostelecom blocked the Yandex search engine Web site for 23 minutes. It turned out that blocking occurred due to an advertisement for psychotropic substances that was available via some IP-address that coincided with IP-addresses used by Yandex.

An attempt to visit http://www.yandex.ru resulted in a notification that the search engine had been included on the register of banned sites. The action was based on the decision of the Maykop City Court in the case related to blocking Web sites that offered illegal drugs. The list of IP address, provided as a result of this court decision, included the Yandex site. The Rostelecom personnel removed Yandexís address from the list.

Prosecutors in Yekaterinburg Request to Block Web Sites That Promote Smoking Blends

On April 23, 2013, the Sverdlovsk Regional Prosecutor's Office announced that the Oktyabrsky District Prosecutor's Office of Yekaterinburg had filed 4 court claims requesting that the Macro-regional Ural Branch of Rostelecom limit access to four sites that promote smoking blends. Blocking should be implemented via filtering the IP-addresses of these sites on the border routers.

Rostelecom Attempted Blocking a Parody Search Web Site

On April 26, 2013, it was reported that Rostelecom blocked access to the parody Web site Gospoisk (gossearch.ru).

The site is a fake search engine, ostensibly created with support from the Ministry of Communications and Rostelecom. When a site visitor types a query in the search box, he is asked to enter his first and last name, patronymic, passport details, address and the reason for his/her request. If the user answers to these questions, the site generates a request number and recommends the user to visit the nearest office of the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation and show this request number.

According to Rostelecom, the site was blocked by the decision of the Pskov City Court because the gossearch.ru address coincided with the address of a gambling site.†As of April 28, the site was accessible in Moscow.

The Chechnya Republican Prosecutor's Office Requests Restrictions on Access to Web Sites with Information on Weapons Manufacture

On April 12, 2013, the Republican Prosecutor's Office of Chechnya identified three Web sites with information relating to manufacturing of weapons. Based on these inspection results, the Prosecutor's Office filed three claims with the Leninsky District Court in Grozny in order to restrict access to these sites.

VKontakte Social Network blocked several groups upon request of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia

On April 18, 2013, the Administration of VKontakte blocked several user groups. These groups posted materials containing incitement to violence and recognized by courts as extremist.

Blocking was performed at the request of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia; the administration of the social network signed an agreement on cooperation with the Federation.

The Web Sites with Propaganda of Corruption Have Been Blocked in Bashkortostan upon Request from the Prosecutor's Office

On April 8, 2013, the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bashkortostan reported that Buzdyaksky District Prosecutorís Office had issued a motion addressed to the Internet provider Bashinformsvyaz demanding that it restrict access to Web sites that tell about methods of giving a bribe.

The provider has complied with the Prosecutorís Office requests.

A Prosecutorís Office Demands That Providers Block a Bribery-related Web Site in Ufa

On April 9, 2013, it was reported that the Leninsky District Prosecutorís Office of Ufa has filed court claims against three providers. The Prosecutorís Office demands restrictions on access to the Web site telling about the mechanism of paying bribes to officials.

Online Libraries Find Themselves Blacklisted

On April 5, 2013, it was reported that Rospotrebnadzor has added to the Register of Banned Web Sites the addresses of several online libraries, including BookFi.org and Sovremennik.ws.

A Court Decision to Block the Websites Selling Fake Diplomas Is Issued in Togliatti,

On April 1, 2013, it became known that the Komsomolsky District Court of Togliatti granted the claim submitted by the Prosecutorís Office against the Internet provider Flygo Telecom, demanding that the provider restrict access to Web sites that offer fake Diplomas of various universities. The Court's decision has not yet entered into force.

Four More Warnings for the Pussy Riot Video

On March 29, 2013, it was announced that Roscomnadzor issued four additional warnings for publishing the Pussy Riot video. The warnings were issued to the Web site Neva24.ru, portal KM.ru, and the news agencies New Region and Regions.ru.

Absurdopediaís Loses Its Appeal against its Blacklisting.

On April 1, 2013, the Obninsk City Court considered the appeal, submitted by the administration of Absurdopedia – the Russian version of Uncyclopedia Ė related to the November 2012 decision of Rospotrebnadzor to add the Absurdopedia site to the Register of Banned Sites. The Court dismissed the complaint.

Rostelecom and NKS Block Blogspot.com

On April 3, 2013, it was reported that the Internet providers Rostelecom and NKS were blocking blogspot.com platform in different regions based on unknown set of criteria. They are blocking technical materials and blogs in English. Android blog was among the blocked ones.

Web Sites of the Land Developers Are Prohibited in the Krasnodar Region

On April 2, 2013, it was reported that the Yeisk District Prosecutorís Office in the Krasnodar Region, filed a claim demanding that the internet providers restrict access to the Web sites of the construction companies Rodina and Kvartal and the sites http://rodina-kuban.ru, http://sil-kuban.ru, http://kvartal23.ru and http://stroim-anapu.ru, all belonging to S. Antipin:.

The developers used these sites to publish information regarding the sales of property within buildings under construction, while raising cooperative funds for these construction projects was prohibited.

A Prosecutor's Office Demands Restrictions on Access to a Web Site with Information on Manufacturing Explosives in Barnaul.

On April 10, 2013, the Altai Regional Prosecutor's Office reported that the Tsenralínyi District Prosecutorís Office in Barnaul filed 8 court claims against the providers demanding that they restrict access to a Web site that tells about manufacturing explosives at home.

The Ulyanovsk Regional Demands Blocking the Sites That Promote Bribery

On April 10, 2013, it became known that the Ulyanovsk Regional Prosecutorís Office filed a lawsuit against the regional branch of Rostelecom, demanding restrictions on access to Web sites that tell about the methods of giving a bribe and evading responsibility for it.

The Web sites in question include Cripo.com, Glavnoe, Aloepole, Krasjob, Daslife, Scandalim, Bbcont, Homearchive, Tvoemnenie, Posovesti.

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