September 1, 2015

Russia Unimaginable Censorship Of The Internet - Prosecution And Terror, Prison And Beating For Bloggers

Prosecution And Terror, Prison And Beating For Bloggers
By The Blog Of ExpressVPN: Russia isn’t exactly known for accepting non-conformist Internet opinions. As noted by the BBC, for example, any bloggers in Russia with more than 3,000 followers must register with the government and follow the same rules as mass media outlets. The Washington Post describes this situation faced by bloggers “in theoretical violation of the law at all times”; popular Russian bloggers live in fear that they could potentially face punishment if authorities decide to crack down on them. And in recent months, Roskomnadzor has been busy issuing stern warnings to sites like Facebook, Google, and Twitter if they don’t comply with Russian data-handling laws. (Source: ExpressVPN) Continues with The Washington Post.
By Michael Birnbaum July 31, 2014, The Washington Post: The restrictions come as some of Russia’s most prominent independent online news Websites have been blocked or gutted in recent months, and at a crucial juncture in the Ukrainian conflict, which has raised tensions between Russia and the West to levels not seen since the Cold War. The Internet in Russia had long been a largely uncensored arena even as the nation’s television stations and newspapers toed an ­ever-stricter Kremlin line. The new regulations, bloggers and activists say, will encourage online self-censorship and will create new risks for those who advocate contrarian viewpoints.

The set of regulations coming into effect Friday is known here as the “blogger law” because it requires any person whose online presence draws more than 3,000 daily readers to register, disclose personal information and submit to the same regulations as mass media. Critics — including some pro-Kremlin lawmakers — say the rules are confusing, poorly written and hard to enforce consistently. But the end effect is to put large swaths of Russia’s prominent online personalities in theoretical violation of the law at all times, risking fines and other harassment whenever authorities decide to crack down, critics say.

Starting Friday, “every blogger might face a threat of criminal prosecution,” said Oleg Kozyrev, a prominent opposition blogger, who said he does not intend to register his Web site.

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