Circling the Lion's Den

A Chronicle of Russian Internet Filtering / June 2013

ņŪšūŚť 01.08.2013 00:00:00

A Chronicle of Russian Internet Filtering / June 2013

An Internet Provider Was Ordered to Block Extremist Websites in the Saratov Region

On June 24, 2013, the Saratov Regional Prosecutor's Office reported that a court had satisfied the claim of the Leninsky District Prosecutor’s Office of Saratov demanding that the Regional branch of the Internet provider Rostelecom restrict access to websites with extremist content.

Earlier, a prosecutorial inspection had identified publicly available websites containing calls for terrorism and incitements toward hatred.

Surgut Prosecutors Seek to Block the NBP Website

On June 24, 2013, the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District Prosecutorís Office reported that the Surgut City Prosecutorís Office had filed a lawsuit against the local branches of the Internet providers VimpelCom and Megafon. The prosecutors demand restrictions on access to the sites of several organizations, recognized as extremist, specifically, the Slavic Union (Slavyansky soiuz, SS) and the National Bolshevik Party.

The Chechnya Republican Prosecutorís Office Seeks to Block a Website

On June 24, 2013, it became known that the Chechnya Prosecutorís Office filed a claim in the Leninsky District Court of Grozny against a number of providers. The Prosecutorís Office demands that the Internet providers Vainakh Telecom, Elektrosviazí Federal State Unitary Enterprise in the Chechen Republic, Chechenskaya Sotovaya Svyaz, Mig, the Caucasus branch† of Megafon, and the local branches of VimpelCom and MTS limit access to the website that posted information on manufacturing explosives and explosive devices.

A Provider Blocked Websites without Waiting for a Court Decision in the Tula Region

An inspection in March 2013 revealed that computers at Dubnenskaya and Voskresenskaya schools of the Dubnensky District in the Tula Region provided access to online pornography and to the text of Hitler's Mein Kampf. Based on the results of the inspection, the Dubnensky District Prosecutorís Office went to court and demanded that access to these sites be blocked. On June 25, the case was dismissed due to the fact that the Internet provider Rostelecom had blocked the websites prior to the start of the proceedings.

Prosecutors Demand Restrictions on Access to a Website for Posting Information on Manufacturing Explosives in Chechnya

On June 25, 2013, Office of the Public Prosecutor of the Chechen Republic reported that the Gudermessky District Prosecutorís Office filed two court claims against the Internet provider Gumsnet. The prosecutors demand that the provider restrict access to the site that posts information on making explosives and explosive devices.

A Provider in the Moscow Region Blocked a Website without Waiting for a Court Decision

On June 26, 2013, the Lytkarino City Prosecutorís Office in the Moscow Region announced that it had filed a lawsuit against the Internet provider Velcom-L, demanding restrictions on access to a website that contained the literature recognized as extremist.

The provider complied with the prosecutorial request without waiting for a court decision. The case was closed.

A Court Ordered a School Principal to Install Content Filters in Chapaevsk

On June 26, 2013, it was announced that the Chapaevsk City Court the in Samara Region granted the claim of the Chapaevsk City Prosecutorís Office demanding that the principal of School No. 8 in Chapaevsk install content filters on the school computers.

The claims were based on the results of a prosecutorial investigation. The investigation established that students had access to extremist and pornographic websites and to the VKontakte and Odnoklassniki social networks.

A Court Blocked Websites on the Home Manufacturing of Weapons in Pyatigorsk

On June 26, 2013, it was announced that the Pyatigorsk city court ordered the Internet provider KMVtelekom to restrict access to websites that advertised the sale of weapons and provided information on home manufacturing of explosives and weapons.

The website should be blocked by adding the IP-addresses of these websites to filters on the border routers.

Six MMM Sites Were Blocked in Ulyanovsk

On June 26, 2013, it became known that a court granted the claim of the Leninsky District Prosecutor's Office of Ulyanovsk seeking to block access to six websites of the MMM financial pyramid. The order to restrict access to these sites was addressed to the Internet provider ER-Telekom Holding.

A Court Ruled to Block Extremist Websites in Penza.

On June 26, 2013, the Penza Regional Prosecutorís Office reported that the Oktyabrsky District Court of Penza granted the District Prosecutorís Office claim and ordered to limit access to the websites that contained extremist materials.

An earlier prosecutorial investigation had identified publicly available websites that posted the texts of the books Krysoliudi by Orei Volot and Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler; both books are included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.

The Gazeta.ru Website Was Blocked in the Ulyanovsk and the Nizhny Novgorod Regions.

In the second half of June 2013, the users of Ulyanovsk Region discovered that their access to the websites of 14 popular publications, including Gazeta.ru and Komsomolskaya Pravda, was restricted. The local Prosecutor office branch blocked the websites in accordance with the decision of the Leninsky District Court of the Ulyanovsk Region. The court decided that the material on bribery, previously featured in these publications, "undermined the authority of the government."

The court failed to inform the newspapers about the decision.

On June 26. the provider restored access to the materials on the website. The Prosecutorís Office explained that they had demanded restrictions on access to specific materials, published at Gazeta.ru, and not to the entire site.†The Dzerzhinsk City Prosecutorís Office in the Nizhny Novgorod Region also requested that the provider block Gazeta.ru materials.

School Administrators in the Sverdlovsk Region Receive Warnings for Insufficient Internet Filtering

On June 27, 2013, the Sverdlovsk Regional Prosecutorís Office reported that the Chkalovsky District Prosecutorís Office had found out that the computers of Yekaterinburg Gymnasium No. 39 provided access to extremist materials, despite being equipped with content filters.

Based on the results of the audit, the Prosecutor's Office issued a warning to the Principal of the Gymnasium. Similar violations were also identified in other schools, so the Prosecutorís Office issued 21 additional warnings.

A Court Decision Blocks Online Casinos in Stavropol

On June 27, 2013, it became known that the Leninsky District Court granted the claim of the Stavropol City Prosecutorís Office and ordered restrictions on access to 80 gambling websites. The order to restrict access to these sites was addressed to the Internet provider VimpelCom.

Prosecutors Issued a Warning to Providers in the Smolensk Region

On June 27, 2013, the Smolensk Regional Prosecutor's Office reported that the District Prosecutorsís Offices of the Zadneprovsky and the Promyshlennyi Districts of Smolensk together with the Gagarinskaya and the Safonovskaya Inter-District Prosecutor's Offices issued 12 motions to eliminate violations of the Law on combating extremism. The motions, warning about impermissibility of providing access to websites included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials, were issued to the following Internet providers: the local branches of MTS and Rostelecom, SmolenskSvyazStroy, MAN-Set, and the Russian Post (Pochta Rossii)

The Ivanovo Regional Prosecutorís Office Demands Restrictions on Access to the Financial Pyramid Websites.†

On June 28, 2013, the Ivanovo Regional Prosecutorís Office reported that Teikovsky Inter-District Prosecutorís Office filed 20 court claims seeking to block the sites of MMM and MMM-2012.

Prosecutors Demand That Students Be Shielded from Extremism and Pornography in Yaroslavl

On June 28, 2013, it was reported that the Kirov District Prosecutorís Office in Yaroslavl issued motions, addressed to the administrations of schools No. 42 and No. 43, to eliminate the violations of the legislation on protecting children from negative information.

The prosecutorial inspection had revealed that, despite the presence of the Internet content filters, it was still possible to access websites of extremist and pornographic nature from the school computers.

The Prosecutorís Office Sought to Block the Websites on Manufacturing Explosives in the Trans-Baikal Region

On June 28, 2013, the Trans-Baikal Regional Prosecutorís Office issued a motion, addressed to the Internet provider ChitaTechEnergo, demanding restrictions on access to a number of sites.

The prosecutorial inspection identified publicly available websites with information on manufacturing and using explosives.

A Provider Receives a Warning for a Book by Mussolini in the Ivanovo Region

On June 17, 2013, the Ivanovo Regional Prosecutorís Office reported that the Rodnikovsky District Prosecutorís Office issued a motion, addressed to the administration of the Internet provider IRTEK, to eliminate violations of the law.

The motion was based on the results of the prosecutorial investigation, which found two publicly accessible sites, containing the texts of Benito Mussolini's Memoirs 1942-1943 and The Doctrine of Fascism.

Providers Received a Warning for Providing Access to Extremist Materials in the Khabarovsk Region and the Jewish Autonomous District

On June 18, 2013, the Jewish Autonomous Regional Prosecutorís Office announced that the Khabarovsk branch of MTS and Birobidzhan branch of VimpelCom received motions for non-compliance with the law.

The motions were based on the results of the prosecutorial investigation, which had identified materials, legally recognized as extremist, to be publicly available online.

Access to Extremist Websites Blocked in Kemerovo

On June 18, 2013, it became known that a court granted the claim by the Zavodskoy District Prosecutorís Office of the Kemerovo Region against an Internet provider, demanding that the provider restrict access to websites with information included in Federal List of Extremist Materials.

A Court Ordered the ISP to Block Gambling Websites in Bryansk

On June 19, 2013, the Bryansk Regional Prosecutorís Office reported that the Soviet District Court granted the claim of Fokinsky District Prosecutorís Office against the Internet provider Mobilnye TeleSystemy. The Prosecutorís Office demanded restrictions on access to seven gambling websites. Now the provider is obligated to block the sites.

Prosecutors Successfully Blocked Websites Promoting Illegal Drugs in Togliatti

On June 20, 2013, the Samara Regional Prosecutorís Office reported that Avtozavodsky District Prosecutorís Office in Togliatti filed 54 claims against the Internet providers AIST, Infolada, Infopak, Letkom-2, Togliatti Telecom and Aido Telecom, demanding that they block websites that promoted use and production of illegal drugs. 13 of these claims have already been satisfied.

Access to the Website That Posted an Extremist Article Was Blocked in Blagoveshchensk

On June 20, 2013, the Blagoveshchensk City Court granted the petition of the Blagoveshchensk District Prosecutorís Office against the Amur Branch of Rostelecom. Upon request of the Prosecutorís Office, the court ordered the ISP to block a site containing the article, “The Mujahideen statement upon arrival of new bandit groups - FSB and MVD - to Dagestan,” included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.

Prosecutors Demand Restrictions on Extremist Webs Sites in Samara

On June 21, 2013, the Samara Regional Prosecutorís Office announced that the Zheleznodorozhny District Prosecutorís Office of Samara filed 26 court claims against the Internet providers Intertelekom.ru, Avantel, and Samara Lan, demanding that they restrict access to a number of websites. According to the prosecutors, these sites contain materials aimed at inciting religious and racial hatred and propaganda of fascism.

A Prosecutorís Office Shielded Students from the Information on Manufacturing Explosives in the Novgorod Region

On June 21, 2013, the Novgorod Regional Prosecutorís Office reported that, on May 29, the Batetsky District Prosecutor's Office issued a motion to eliminate violations of anti-terrorism legislation, addressed to the Chairman of the Education Committee of the District Administration.

The motion was based on the results of a prosecutorial investigation, according to which the computers in Gorodnia Village Secondary School provided public access to websites with information on manufacturing explosives.†After the intervention of the Prosecutor's Office access to these websites was blocked.

A Court Ordered the Internet Provider to Restrict Access to Gambling Websites in Stavropol,

On June 21, 2013, it was reported that the Leninsky District Court granted the petition of the Stavropol District Prosecutorís Office, demanding restrictions on access to 80 sites involved in illegal gambling activities.†The Prosecutorís Office supervises the execution of the judgment.

Websites on Manufacturing Weapons Are Blocked by a Court Decision in Pyatigorsk

On June 22, 2013, it was announced that the Pyatigorsk City Court granted the claim of the Pyatigorsk City Prosecutorís Office against the Internet provider KMVtelekom. The Prosecutors demanded restrictions on access to a number of websites containing information on manufacturing weapons.

The State Duma Adopted the Copyright Protection Bill in the Second and Third Readings

On June 21, 2013, State Duma adopted in the second and third readings the bill on the protection of copyright in film, television and video productions.

Under this bill, a website containing illegal content can be blocked without waiting for a court judgment, if the owner of the site fails to remove the controversial content after Roskomnadzorís warning.

Supposedly, blocking will be done by IP-address. The law enters into force on 1 August 2013.

School Authorities Are Penalized for Poor-Quality Internet Content Filters in the Saratov Region

On June 10, 2013, it was reported that the Turkovsky District Prosecutorís Office of the Saratov Region issued motions to eliminate violations of the law to the principals of 10 schools in the district. The motions were based on the results of an inspection, which found that the existing schools content filtration system did not fully prevent student access to websites with extremist materials.

As a result of the prosecutorial motions, 18 officials faced administrative responsibility.

The Langepas City Prosecutors Demand Restrictions on Access to Websites that Promote Drugs

On June 10, 2013, The Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District Prosecutorís Office reported that the Langepas City Prosecutorís Office filed a lawsuit against Rostelecom. The Prosecutorís Office demanded that the provider block websites posting information about the use and manufacture of illegal drugs.

Bailiffs Seek to Block Websites in the Kemerovo Region

On June 10, 2013, it was reported that the bailiffs of the Belovsky District of the Kemerovo Region ordered an ISP to comply with the court decision and block the websites that contained extremist material. In case of non-compliance, the provider will be fined.

Courts ordered Internet Providers to Block Sites with Materials by Falun Gong and L. Ron Habbard in Krasnodar

On June 13, 2013, the Krasnodar Regional Prosecutorís Office reported that the Leninsky District Court and the Oktyabrsky District Court of Krasnodar granted eight claims of the City Prosecutor's Office against the following Internet providers: Astarta, Kubintersvyaz, Prestizh-Internet, Kuban State University, VimpelCom, Megafon, MTS, and Kubtelecom.

The Prosecutors demanded restrictions on access to the sites that published the texts of Zhuan Falun book by Li Hongzhi, Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China (Otchet of proverke utverzhdenii ob izvlechenii organov u posledovatelei Falungun v Kitae)" brochure by David Matas and David Kilgour and PTS/SP Course Lectures by L. Ron Habbard. All these materials had been previously legally recognized as extremist.

The Novokyibishevsk City Prosecutorís Office Seeks to Block Extremist Websites

On June 13, 2013, the Samara Regional Prosecutorís Office announced that the Novokyibishevsk City Prosecutorís Office filed 20 claims against the Internet providers Progress-IT, TesKomVolga, MIRS, and NeksTellSamara.

The prosecutors demand restrictions on access to websites containing information included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials. The Novokuibyshev City Court has already granted 8 out of 20 claims.

A Court Ordered a Provider to Block Gambling Websites in Nyagan

On June 14, 2013, it was reported that a court granted the claim of the Nyagan Town Prosecutorís Office and demanded restrictions on access to gambling websites. The court ordered the Internet provider Rostelecom to block the sites.

Prosecutors Seek to Block Websites on Bribery In Ulyanovsk,

On June 14, 2013, it was reported that the Zasviyazhskiy District Prosecutorís Office of Ulyanovsk filed a court claim against the Internet providers DARS-IP and Telekom.ru. Prosecutor demands that the providers block several sites with information on methods of giving bribes. Specifically, the sites are: 7ba.ru, babyplan.ru, daslife, bbcont, volgograd.

The Law on Combating Piracy Is Adopted in the First Reading

On June 14, 2013, the Russian State Duma adopted in the first reading the draft law on the copyright protection on the Internet.

Under the bill, the owner can go to court with the request to restrict access to illegal content. The website owners or the provider have an obligation to block the site that is hosting the material.

The document stipulates that copyright disputes must be submitted to the Moscow City Court.

The VKontakte Administration Is Deleting Audio Files

On June 14, 2013, it became known that the administration of the social network VKontakte, in anticipation of the anti-piracy bill being considered by the State Duma, started deleting its music content.

Users, who download the audio files personally, rather than copying them from another person, received messages from the network administration demanding that they remove the material as infringing on copyright.

A Court in Grozny Blocked Websites with Information on Manufacturing Explosive Devices

On May 29, 2013, Leninsky district of Grozny court granted the claim of the Republican Prosecutorís Office demanding restrictions on access to websites featuring information about manufacturing of improvised explosive devices.

A Virtual Casino Site Blocked by Court Decision in Tyumen

On June 3, 2013, the Tyumen Regional Prosecutorís Office reported that the Kalininsky District Court granted the claim of the Tyumen City Prosecutorís Office demanding restrictions on access to a gambling website.

The Chechnya Republican Prosecutorís Office seeks to block Belyi Bukvar

On June 4, 2013, the Chechnya Republican Prosecutorís Office reported on filing a lawsuit against the following Internet providers: Vainakh Telecom, Elektrosviazí Federal State Unitary Enterprise in the Chechen Republic, Chechenskaya Sotovaya Svyaz, Mig, the Caucasus branch† of Megafon, and the local branches of VimpelCom and MTS. The prosecutors demand that the providers limit access to the website containing the White Primer (Belyi Bukvarí), included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.

The Chechnya Republican Prosecutorís Office Demands Restrictions on Access to the Website on Manufacturing Explosives

On June 4, 2013, the Chechnya Republican Prosecutorís Office †reported on filing a claim against the following Internet providers: Vainakh Telecom, Elektrosviazí Federal State Unitary Enterprise in the Chechen Republic, Chechenskaya Sotovaya Svyaz, Mig, the Caucasus branch† of Megafon, and the local branches of VimpelCom and MTS. The prosecutors demand that the providers limit access to two websites featuring information on manufacturing explosives at home.

A Court Blocked the Website with Information on Manufacturing Explosives in Samara.

On June 4, 2013, the Kirov District Court of Samara granted the District Prosecutorís claim to restrict access to a website with Information on manufacturing improvised explosive devices.

Prosecutors Seek to Block the "Mujahedeen" Website in the Krasnodar Region

On 5 June 2013, the Krasnodar Regional Prosecutorís Office reported that, in the course of an audit, it found ďThe official website of the Mujahideen of United Vilayat of Kabarda, Balkaria and KarachaiĒ included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials, to be publicly accessible.†The Starominskiy District Prosecutors Office filed a court claim requesting that the Internet provider Beeline limit access to this site.

A Prosecutorís Office Requests Access Restriction to ďThe Innocence of MuslimsĒ Video in Moscow

On June 5, 2013, it was reported that the Presnenskaya Inter-District Prosecutorís Office in Moscow filed a claim in the Basmanny District Court against the Internet provider Taskom. The prosecutors demand restrictions on access to the website featuring The Innocence of Muslims Video, included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.

Bailiffs Convinced a Provider to Block Several Websites in the Komi Republic.

On June 6, 2013, it was reported that the Syktyvkar City Court granted the claim of the city Prosecutorís Office, which demanded restrictions on access to the following websites: www. islamdin.biz (ďThe official website of the Mujahideen of United Vilayat of Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachai"), www.3a ūůŮb.livejornal.com and www.pat-livejornal.com.

The court ordered the Internet provider Parma-Inform to block these sites, but the company failed to comply in a timely fashion.

The Bailiff Service notified the company that the enforcement proceedings were being initiated, and warned of possible criminal liability for non-compliance with the courtís decision.†Subsequently, the provider has blocked the websites.

Four MMM Sites Were Blocked in Karelia,

On June 6, 2013, the Karelia Republican Prosecutorís Office reported that the Petrozavodsk City Court had granted the claim of the Petrozavodsk City Prosecutorís Office demanding that an ISP block four MMM sites. The court's decision has entered into force.

A Draft Bill on Blocking Websites with Pirated Content Introduced in the State Duma

On June 6, 2013, a bill, aimed at blocking access to websites with pirated content, was introduced in the State Duma. The authors of the document - Helen Drapeko (The Just Russia/Spravedlivaya Rossiia), Vladimir Bortko (CPRF), Maria Maksakova-Igenbergs (The United Russia) suggested adding the corresponding amendments to the Civil Code.

In particular, the amendments provide for conditions, under which the Internet providers are released from liability for infringement on the intellectual property rights. In this case, the amendments introduce the norm, according to which the information that violates these rights should be removed, or access to it should be restricted.

A Court Fined the Internet Provider for Distributing Extremist Materials in the Chuvash Republic

On June 3, 2013, the Chuvash Republican Prosecutorís Office reported that the Novocheboksarsk City Court found the head of a local Internet provider company guilty under the Administrative Code Article 20.29 (production and distribution of extremist materials) and sentenced him to a fine of 2,000 rubles.

The provider was fined for his failure to block access to websites that posted extremist materials. The decision has not yet entered into force.

A Provider Was Fined in the Moscow Region

On June 4, 2013, it was announced that the Arbitration Court of the Moscow Region sentenced the Internet provider Tefo to a fine of 30 thousand rubles for failing to block access to websites that featured prohibited materials.

The company attempted to appeal the decision, but the appellate court confirmed the decision of the Arbitration Court of the Moscow Region.

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