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Russia Prepares to Block Over 100 Porn Sites

Russia's Internet watchdog Roskomnadzor wants to block 136 porn websites.

Russian authorities intend to block the largest-ever number of pornographic websites, targeting at least 136 of them, federal Internet watchdog Roskomnadzor said Monday.

The measure is based on a court decision in the Russian republic of Tatarstan that said the sites must delete all their pornographic content within three days or be blocked in the country, the Izvestia newspaper reported.

The court ruling cited international conventions from 1910 and 1923 on distributing obscene materials, agreements respectively signed by the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, the newspaper reported.

A spokeswoman for Roskomnadzor's press service confirmed to The Moscow Times that the agency would block both Russian and foreign websites in carrying out the court order, but she declined to name them individually.

Izvestia newspaper named only one of the sites that would likely be blocked: xHamster.com, a U.S.-based porn video-sharing site. The site was still accessible in Moscow on Monday.

"This is the first time that a single decision by a court contains a requirement to restrict access to such a large number of pornography-orientated websites. Total traffic to these sites is in the millions of visits," Roskomnadzor's top spokesman, Vadim Ampelonsky, told Izvestia.

The move comes after Roskomnadzor said last week that it was illegal to make Internet memes featuring public figures in a way that does not correspond with their personality.

The media watchdog said on its VKontakte social network page that such memes violate Russian legislation on personal information and "besmirch the honor, dignity and business reputation of public figures."

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