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Russia begins to introduce censorship in Russian Internet segment

November 13, 2012, 15:50 UTC+3 Alexandrova Lyudmila

MOSCOW, November 13 (Itar-Tass) —— The law, which has been enacted on November 1, 2012, and was designed to protect children from the malign affect of the internet, finally came into full force. The Federal Service for Control over the Circulation of Drugs (FSKN) first decided to shut down the access to the so-called “encyclopaedia of folklore and subcultures” without any explanations. A little bit later the Russian drug police imposed a ban on the largest online library Librusek for the receipt of a soup made of cannabis in “the cookbook of the anarchist”.

The file hosting resource, which is one of the most frequented resources in Runet, was also put on the register of the banned portals. The administration of the file hosting resource received a relevant notification from the Federal Service for Supervision over Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Mass Communications. The agency demanded delete “the encyclopaedia of suicide” from seeding, and Rutracker has done so. However, this fact did not guarantee the website from being dropped off “the blacklist”. is one of the most popular Russian torrent trackers.

What the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia warned about last summer going on a one-day strike, this happened – the Russian state authorities began to introduce censorship in the Russian internet segment.

Last summer the law on the protection of children from the information that is harmful for their health and development was enacted. One of its new restrictions became the register of the internet resources, which contain the illegal information. Thus, there are three criminal spheres that can do harm to the child: the appeals to suicide, the child’s pornography and the instructions how to make and buy the drugs. After the expertise exposed that the internet resource contains illegal information, the website owner and its provider receive an order with the demands to remove the harmful content. If the demands are not fulfilled, the access to the website will be shut down.

The restrictions under the Runet blacklist have been imposed since November 1. Absurdopedia, which is the so-called humoristic counterpart of Wikipedia, was banned for the article “how to commit a suicide in the right way” among the first internet resources on the foresaid blacklist. On Monday, the popular internet “encyclopaedia of folklore and subcultures” was blocked for the material about marijuana.

The administration of the portal claimed that they did not receive any official warning that the website was put on the register of banned websites and now are going to file a lawsuit against the Russian telecommunications watchdog.

The portal Lurkmore was created as a parody on the internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia. These two websites have almost identical interfaces, layouts, but different contents. Wikipedia adheres to the position of accuracy, reliability, significance and encyclopaedic importance. Lurkmore is making up the chronicles of modern internet folklore. Most texts are written in the specific language of forums and social networks that a person not acquainted with the internet peculiarities will hardly understand. The Russian-language portal Lurkmore is on the list of 200 most visited Runet websites.

“Lurkmore is an independent resource, but it functions on the same principles as Wikipedia,” the Izvestia daily quoted executive director Stanislav Kozlovsky as saying. Wikimedia is an organization that is developing the Russian segment of the online encyclopaedia Wikimedia. “The users are downloading its content. Although all illegal information is immediately deleted, some gap in time between the downloading and moderation exists, therefore, so targeted provocative acts are possible,” he noted.

“We expected the claims from FSKN, because we are aware of their ways of the struggle against drugs,” the owner of the website Dmitry Khomak said. “We do not sell drugs, you cannot learn at our website, where you can take them, as our portal is a purely encyclopaedic resource,” he said.

“If idiocy dominates in the use of this law, any resources, which permit the internet users to make their postings on their webpages, can be closed,” the Novye Izvestia daily quoted President of the Internet and Law Company Anton Sergo as saying. The expert noted that Wikipedia and Youtube can be the next to be shut down.

The Russian branch of Wikipedia is drafting an address to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the State Duma. In their address to the president representatives of the Russian segment of the online encyclopaedia intend to voice their concerns over a tougher censorship in Runet.

On the appeals of the For Fair Elections opposition group tens of discontent internet users came out for a picket at the Russian Ministry of Telecommunications and Mass Communications in Moscow on Monday evening.