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RF designs search engine to spot extremism on Internet

August 31, 2011, 7:52 UTC+3
In spring of the current year, Russia’s ministry of communications launched a similar programme complex to spot children’s pornography on the Internet
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MOSCOW, August 31 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s Ministry of Communications designs software, which could spot automatically the Internet content, which contains so-called suspicious texts, Deputy Minister Oleg Dukhovnitsky told the Izvestia newspaper on Wednesday.

Besides, “we are preparing addendums to the legislation to give a more specified explanation of the ‘extremist material’ notion,” he said. As yet, it is not specified as the Internet content cannot be compared to material carriers of information, like a newspaper or a magazine.

“No doubt, no software can make an expert analysis whether an article contains illegal wording or not,” Dukhovnitsky said. “But the software is able to react immediately to words like ‘terrorist’ or ‘bomb’, and later on qualified experts will be working with the text to see if it may be considered as illegal or not.”

Executive Director of the Secure Internet League Denis Davydov said that automated search for extremist materials will be organised in three segments: video, photo and texts.

“If extremist information is placed on a site, which is registered as mass media, Roskomnadzor will be able to bring the site to a responsibility,” he said. “If content of the kind is spotted in a blog or on a personal page of social networks, the mechanism to delete those sites will start working.”

In spring of the current year, Russia’s ministry of communications launched a similar programme complex to spot children’s pornography on the Internet. At the same time, the ministry says it takes as an exceptional the punishing method for the sites bearing illegal content.

“Banning or closing a site is a way to nowhere, as people have a guaranteed right to receive information and distribute it under the present legislation,” Dukhovnitsky said. “This is why, whatever software is designed, our task is still not to kill any mass media.”

“There are technical options to block any Internet media, which abuses its positions,” he continued. “The thing not to be done is to push authorities to use those options.”

 

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