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Russia’s watchdog dismisses reports about plans to block Twitter

May 16, 2014, 15:28 UTC+3
Deputy head of Roskomnadzor specified that his words should be considered as a sign to foreign online resources to establish ties with the regulator of the market they operate on
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© EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT

MOSCOW, May 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) does not plan to block Twitter in Russia, said Maxim Ksenzov, the watchdog’s deputy head.

“My words about the possible blocking are a sign to foreign online mediums that they should establish relations with the regulator of the market they are operating on. Nobody intends to block neither Twitter, nor Facebook, nor Google. However, under Russian legislation, we must block resources circulating extremist reports. It cannot be always done by including a specific page on the website in the register of banned information. In particular, in the Twitter mobile application pages cannot be blocked, and as a result, the whole resource under the IP address may be blocked,” Ksenzov explained. He added that “drastic measures are hardly probable”.

On Friday, the Izvestia daily has published an interview with Ksenzov, who warned that the “non-constructive stance” of the top management of international internet companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, regarding compliance with legislation regulating the internet, might become the cause of their blocking in Russia. “Even tomorrow we can block Twitter or Facebook in Russia within several minutes. We do not see any high risks in it. If at some point we conclude that consequences of “switching off” social media would be less substantial than the damage caused to the Russian society the non-constructive stance of the top management of international internet companies, we will do what we should by law,” Ksenzov told Izvestia.

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reacted on this interview by posting a statement on his official Facebook page. It says:

As an active social networks’ user I believe that everyone — both the networks and the users — should comply with the Russian legislation. However, some officials in charge of the industry’s development should use their brain from time to time. And they shouldn’t give interviews announcing the blocking of social networks. Dmitry Medvedev Russia's Prime Minister

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