Internet Law Takes Effect

A law creating a "website blacklist" and forcing Internet companies to block banned content came into effect Monday, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, the government's official publication, reported.

Under the law, Internet service providers will be forced to disable access to content that the government believes shows child pornography, solicits children for porn, encourages drug use, promotes suicide or distributes content that is illegal under Russian law.

Some observers have interpreted the new requirements as an attempt to introduce Chinese-style Internet censorship amid a crackdown on the opposition that included new restrictions on public rallies and nongovernmental organizations and criminal penalties for libel. The law has also been criticized because it does not make clear how much of an Internet publication — individual web pages or whole Internet domain names — will be blocked once content is blacklisted.

(MT)

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