Russian-language sites are protesting a bill submitted to the lower house of Russian parliament this week. The bill would create a national registry of blacklisted sites that contain child pornography, extremist ideas, and suicide- or drug-related content. Many of the bill's opponents say Duma Bill 89417-6 (titled "On protection of children from information harmful to their health and development") is overly broad, risks becoming censorship akin to China's "Great Firewall," and does not include an adequate appeals process in case a site is wrongfully taken down.
Wikimedia's Russian-language branch, LiveJournal, Russian search engine Yandex, and Russian social network vKontakte all protested the bill on Tuesday by shutting down or posting notices on their homepages explaining why the bill was dangerous to their sites. Most sites fear that the broad language in the bill would lead to government blacklisting if a site simply hosted a link to illegal content, or if a single user posted illegal content that was not discovered in time.
The bill would potentially require ISPs and Web hosts to block the blacklisted sites, "under threat of liability or even being added to the blacklist itself,” the Center for Democracy and Technology reports. RIA Novosti, one of Russia's largest state-run news outlets, suggests that the bill has some support in all four-party factions in the Duma, and would appoint a federal agency to keep the blacklist and add violators to it.
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Article by Megan Geuss (c) Ars Technica - Read full story here.