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Russia’s Youth Agency Granted Right to Block Websites

Russia’s youth affairs agency has become the sixth national agency with the authority to block websites deemed harmful to young people.

To date, Russia’s Interior Ministry, consumer protection agency, tax service, alcohol regulator and media watchdog Roskomnadzor have had the right to block websites without a court order.

A Russian government decree has added the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, Rosmolodezh, to the list of agencies authorized to blacklist websites that incite juvenile crime or threaten young people’s lives.

Offending websites can be legally blocked under amendments to Russia’s information law that President Vladimir Putin signed in December.

The March 21 decree also allows court bailiffs to restrict access to online information that “harms a citizen’s honor, dignity or business reputation.”

The decree was signed three months after Russia criminalized the involvement of minors in public protests.

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