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What Russia blocked in May
23 Jul 2013
BY ANDREI SOLDATOV

The Russian authorities came out with two new categories of website to be banned in May: on manufacturing explosive devices and bribery. If the first is the reaction of the authorities to the Boston bombings, the latter reflects major social problems of the society in Russia.

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The Russian authorities came out with two new categories of website to be banned in May: on manufacturing explosive devices and bribery. If the first is the reaction of the authorities to the Boston bombings, the latter reflects major social problems of the society in Russia. Andrei Soldatov

Extremism

Sverdlovsk prosecutor demands restrictions on Islamist site
On 27 May the Sverdlovsk regional prosecutor reported that the Prigorodny district prosecutor had filed a claim against the local branch of the ISP Rostelecom demanding that a website containing Hizb ut-Tahrir materials be blocked.

Prosecutor blocks racial hatred websites
On 28 May it was reported that Ykhta city prosecutor had filed a lawsuit against the four largest ISPs in the region – GSP, Maxim, Rostelecom, and SeverTransTeleCom – demanding that they limit access to three sites containing material intended to incite violence or racial or religious hatred. The court granted the request.

Khabarovsk court bars anti-semitic film
At the end of May it became known that the Kirov district prosecutor of Khabarovsk had filed a claim in the central district court against the ISP TransTelecom-DV, requesting restrictions on access to the website www.u-tube.ru for posting the anti-semitic video The Eternal Jew. The video is included on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. The court granted the prosecutor’s request.

Samara prosecutor demands restrictions on Hizb ut-Tahrir
On 30 May the Samara regional prosecutor reported that the Samara city prosecutor had filed 26 writs against local ISPs with the Oktyabrsky district federal court, demanding two Hizb ut-Tahrir sites be blocked.
Action against Mein Kampf and other Nazi materials
On 21 May the Yoshkar-Ola city court upheld the demands of the republican prosecutor that access be limited to a website containing extremist material. The ISP Mobilnye TeleSystemy was ordered to block the website that published Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler and the anti-semitic tract Desionizatsiya by Valerie Emelyanov, as well as the video The Eternal Jew and leaflets of the second world war produced by the German army, the pro-Nazi Russian Liberation Army and Ukrainian Liberation Army and various other Nazi units. All of these materials are legally recognised as extremist.

Kurgan moves against terrorist propaganda
On 22 May the Kurgan regional prosecutor reported that the Belozersky district prosecutor had filed a court claim against the local branch of the ISP Rostelecom seeking to limit access to a website featuring publications on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. The material included calls to terrorist activity and documents designed to incite hatred. The court granted the request of the prosecutor. The decision has entered into force.

Ulyanovsk court orders ISPs to block racist sites
On 22 May it was reported that Barishsky district prosecutor in the Ulyanovsk region had started legal action against the regional branch of the ISP Rostelecom, demanding restrictions on access to several sites. The prosecutor identified the publicly accessible websitescircassia.forumieren.de, ansardin.wordpress.com, angusht.com, shamilonline.org and other sites that publish racist and ultranationalist material. The court granted the request in full.

Nazi memorabilia sales stopped in Kirov
On 8 May the Kirov regional prosecutor reported that a court had granted its request that the local branch of the ISP MTS block access to a website selling Nazi memorabilia. The website has been blocked.
Chechen Islamist site ‘was accessible in Pushkino’
On 17 May it became known that the Pushkino city prosecutor in the Moscow region had taken legal action against the ISP Vintem-Telecom for failing to restrict access to the Chechen Islamist website Kavkaz-Center. Access to the website has been restricted.

ISP complies with court demands on extremism
On 24 May the Moscow regional prosecutor announced that the Shakhovsky district prosecutor had taken legal action against the ISP Tekhnologii Domovykh Setei Plyus to block access to a website containing extremist materials. The ISP voluntarily complied with the request of the prosecutor and the case has been dismissed.

Murmansk prosecutor tells ISP to clamp down
On 14 May it became known that the Murmansk city prosecutor had filed a claim with the Oktyabrskii court of Murmansk demanding that the regional branch of the ISP Rostelecom restrict user access to websites containing extremist materials. The prosecutor had found that subscribers in the cities of Snezhnogorsk, Gadzhievo and Polarny had access to films, articles and leaflets inciting violence on ethnic and religious grounds and calling for participation in extremist organisations.

Education and public areas

Moscow prosecutor says filtering is faulty

On 31 May the Moscow regional prosecutor reported that several irregularities had been found in the course of an inspection of the Science Education Profession Centre of Continuing Education. In particular, its content-filtering system failed to restrict access to websites with information harmful to children. The prosecutor told the head of the centre to ensure compliance with the law.

Lipetsk internet café ‘allowed access to extremism’

On 20 May the Lipetsk regional prosecutor reported that visitors to the Energy internet café in the town of Chaplygin had access to extremist materials and to websites that advertised smoking mixtures and illegal substances, despite the presence of content-filtering. The district prosecutor started legal proceedings against the owner of the café under legislation aimed at protecting children from information harmful to their health and development. The case was referred to the magistrate’s court.

Altai republic acts against internet café
On 22 May it was reported that the Ust-Kan district prosecutor in the Altai republic had started legal action against the internet café owner E Kuldin after the discovery that computers in the cafe provided access to websites containing extremist material that violated legislation on protecting children from information harmful to their health and development. The prosecutor demanded that the owner eliminate the violation. The court granted the request.

University ‘must stop students visiting prohibited sites’
On 23 May it was reported that the Kemerovo regional prosecutor had found that visitors to the electronic reading room of the Kemerovo State University of Culture and Arts had access to banned websites, in particular sites containing materials intended to incite racial hatred. The prosecutor demanded that the university administration eliminate the violations of the law.

Rostov says college has to install filters
On 23 May the Rostov regional prosecutor reported that students of the Gukovsky branch of Academician P Stepanov Shakhtinskii Regional College of Fuel and Energy had access to extremist texts, video and audio materials via computers installed in its library and computer laboratory. The prosecutor went to court demanding that the college administration install content filters. The administration complied with the request.

Nizhny Novgorod demands protection of school children
On 13 May it became known that the Nizhny Novgorod city prosecutor had found that students at the city’s School No 3 and School No 14 could access websites with information on illegal drug use. The prosecutor demanded that access be stopped. On 23 May it was reported that the Knyagininskii district prosecutor in Nizhny Novgorod region had discovered that students at three schools – Knyaginino Secondary Schools No 1 and No 2 and Vozrozhdenie Secondary School – were able to access websites containing information harmful to children via school computers. Internet filters were not installed. The prosecutor issued four demands that the violations be eliminated.

Tuymazinsky prosecutor targets library and colleges
On 11 May it was announced that the Tuymazinsky interdistrict prosecutor had demanded the installation of internet filters at the Inter-settlement Central Library, a branch of the Ufa State Aviation Technical University, a medical college and a college of education. The prosecutor had found that students and readers had access to sites containing extremist propaganda, pornographic materials and information on smoking blends.

Salekhard prosecutor acts ‘to protect students’
On 24 May it was reported that the Salekhard city prosecutor had found that, despite the existence of content filters, students of five of the city’s schools had access to sites containing obscene language, pornography, violent materials and anti-semitic propaganda. The prosecutor demanded that the schools eliminate the legal violations.

School children must not see smoking blends ads
On 23 May the Kurgan regional prosecutor reported that students of the Kislyansk secondary school and three other schools in Yurgamyshsky district had access to the websites that advertised smoking blends. The district prosecutor demanded that the schools eliminate the detected violations.

Langepas schools ‘had access to extremist sites’
On 23 May the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous district prosecutor reported that the Langepas prosecutor had found that, despite content filters installed in the computer labs of the city’s schools, students in the majority of them had unfettered access to websites containing extremist materials. The prosecutor demanded restrictions on student access to these websites.

Gambling and online casinos

Samara court bans betting sites
On 27 May the Kirovsky district court in Samara region granted five requests by the district prosecutor to restrict access to gambling websites. The court’s decision covers ISPs located in the Kirov district or providing telecommunications services in the region.

Belgorod prosecutors demand gaming block
On 30 May the Belgorod regional prosecutor reported that there was unfettered access to gambling websites in the agricultural vocational school of the Krasnogvardeisky district and in two secondary schools of Chernyansky district. The prosecutor started court actions to block these sites.

Online casino barred in Orenburg
On 30 May it became known that the Sorochinsk prosecutor in the Orenburg region had discovered that users of an internet club had access to a virtual casino website. The prosecutor started court action to close down the club and block the online casino. The Leninsky district court granted the request.

St Petersburg bans 219 betting sites
On 31 May the St Petersburg city prosecutor reported that the Oktyabrsky district court had granted the city prosecutor’s request to ban 219 gambling websites.

Youth wing of United Russia backs site blocking
On 31 May it was reported that that the Young Guard of United Russia, the youth wing of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, had developed a special system to block a large group of websites with inappropriate content. The launch of the search program that identifies websites on suicide, drugs, child pornography and terrorist activity was expected in late June. Once the targeted sites are found, the program will automatically notify the watchdog Roscomnadzor and the Ministry of Justice.

Samara clamps down on online casinos
On 6 May the Kirov district court of Samara granted four requests from the Kirov district prosecutor aimed at restricting access to gambling websites, ordering ISPs to take action. On 15 May the Samara district prosecutor reported that, on 29 April 2013, the same court had granted another five requests; and on 21 May in granted another 10.

Pyramid scheme sites barred in Omsk
On 22 May it was reported that, upon request from district prosecutors in Omsk, two ISPs had restricted access to the pyramid scheme websites MMM-2011 and MMM-2012. Earlier, the prosecutor of the Soviet district had filed a lawsuit against the ISP KOMMED-Info, demanding that it block the financial pyramid scheme sites. The ISP voluntarily complied with the request; the case was dismissed. The Leninsky district prosecutor in Omsk filed a similar claim against the ISP Eremenko. The court granted the request of the prosecutor.

Petrozavodsk acts on online casinos
On 16 May the prosecutor of the republic of Karelia reported that the Petrozavodsk city prosecutor had filed a court claim seeking to limit access to gambling websites in Petrozavodsk and Sortavala. The ISP concerned voluntarily complied with the prosecutor’s request.

Ivanovo bars 56 gambling sites
On 16 May the Ivanovo regional prosecutor reported that the Frunzensky district prosecutor of Ivanovo had submitted court claims against 11 ISPs. The prosecutors demanded restrictions on access to 56 gambling websites. The ISPs voluntarily complied with the requests. On 23 May the Ivanovo regional prosecutor reported that the Frunzensky district prosecutor of the city of Ivanovo had filed a lawsuit against the ISP V I Lenin Ivanovo State Energy University demanding restrictions on access to the MMM-2012 pyramid-scheme site. The ISP complied voluntarily with the request.

Ulyanovsk blocks pyramid scheme
On 16 May it was reported that Novomalyklinsky district prosecutor of Ulyanovsk region had been to court demanding restrictions on access to websites of the MMM pyramid scheme. The court granted the requests and access to the sites has been blocked.

Nizhnevartovsk restricts online betting
On 15 May the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous district prosecutor reported that the Nizhnevartovsk city prosecutor had filed a claim with the city court demanding that the ISP Metroset limit access to a number of gambling websites. The ISP complied voluntarily with the request.

Krasnoyarsk denies access to gaming websites
On 14 May it was reported that the Krasnoyarsk regional prosecutor had issued several demands to ISPs that they restrict access to gambling websites and websites advertising the MMM-2012 pyramid scheme. The ISPs Right Side Plyus and Orion Telecom blocked access to eight sites. There was no court judgment in this case.

Online poker added to Rostelecom banned list
On 17 May it was reported that some of the largest poker websites had been added to the Register of Banned Sites. The ISP Rostelecom kept PokerStars, FullTiltPoker, PartyPoker and several other sites blocked for several hours.

Bomb making

Chechnya prosecutor demands ban on explosives tips
On 29 April the Chechnya republican prosecutor filed two court claims demanding that the ISP Vainakh Telecom block two websites containing instructions for making explosive devices (manufacturing nitroglycerin and cyclonite). The lawsuits are pending.

Bryansk prosecutor blocks bomb-making advice
On 20 May the Bryansk regional prosecutor reported that the Volodarsky district prosecutor had succeeded in blocking a number of websites that inform users about ways to make explosive devices. This prosecutor had filed a claim in 2011 with the Zheleznodorozhny district court of Ryazan against the ISP Svyaztransneft demanding termination of access to such websites, but the court dismissed the claim. The prosecutor appealed against the decision, but, once again, the claim was rejected. A further appeal to the supreme court led to the case being sent back to the Zheleznodorozhny district court for a new trial. In the course of this trial, the ISP agreed to block the sites, and the lawsuit was withdrawn.

Kirov acts against bomb instructions
On 20 May the Kirov city prosecutor filed a claim with the Pervomaisky district court requesting that access to the websites containing information about the manufacture of explosives and explosive devices be blocked.

Biysk prosecutor seeks to bar IED website
On 22 May it was reported that the Biysk city prosecutor had filed four claims with the city court against the ISPs requesting restrictions on access to a website that described making an improvised explosive device.

Stavropol prosecutors target ‘do-it-yourself’ weapons
On 8 May the Stavropol regional prosecutor reported that the prosecutors of Alexandrovsky, Kochubeevsky, Kursky, Neftekumsky, and Sovetsky districts, the city prosecutors of Essentuky and Kislovodsk and the prosecutors of Promyshlennyi and Oktyabrsky districts of Stavropol had identified several websites containing information about home manufacturing of weapons. The prosecutors filed over 20 court claims seeking to restrict access to the sites on the grounds that the weapons-making instructions constituted extremist materials.

Drugs

Ufa stops promotion of illegal drugs
On 15 May it was reported that the Kirov district prosecutor in Ufa had identified 10 publicly accessible websites with information about the manufacture and sale of illegal drugs. The prosecutor filed 30 court claims against the ISPs TTK-Center, BashTelekomServis and Cellular Bashkortostan demanding restrictions on access. The court granted the requests, and the blocking has now entered into force.

Yamal-Nenets government moves on drugs
On 24 May the governor of the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district, Dmitry Kobylkin, instructed the relevant departments of the regional government to work with ISPs to block websites involved in drug distribution.

Saratov court blocks illegal drugs sites
On 29 May it was reported that the Kirovsky district prosecutor in Saratov region had filed a lawsuit demanding that the ISP Fannet-Telecom limit access to several websites that had published information on the manufacture and sale of illegal drugs. The court granted the request.

Bribery

Samara prosecutor demands bribery shutdown
On 30 May the Samara regional prosecutor reported that the Novokuibyshevsk city prosecutor had submitted 12 court claims demanding access restrictions on websites describing methods of bribery

Ulyanovsk court targets corruption sites
On 24 May it became known that Ulyanovsk regional prosecutor’s request had been granted for a court order blocking sites describing methods of bribery. The sites in question include cripo.com, glavnoe, aloepole, krasjob, daslife, scandalim, bbcont, homearchive, tvoemnenie and posovesti.

Yamal court stops ‘how-to-bribe’ tips
On 16 May it was announced that the Salekhard city court granted the request of the Muravlenko city prosecutor to order Rostelecom to restrict access to several websites describing methods of bribery.

Kogalym prosecutors demand restrictions
On 7 May the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous district prosecutor reported that the Kogalym city prosecutor had filed a court claim demanding that the regional branch of Rostelecom and the ISP Intermir block access to several websites describing methods of bribery.

And the rest…

‘Doghunters’ face ban in Sverdlovsk
On 30 May 2013, the Sverdlovsk regional prosecutor reported that the Sukhoi Log city court had granted the request of the city prosecutor to make the ISP Uralskiie Seti restrict access to the Vreditelyam.net website organised by “doghunters” (volunteer exterminators of dogs). The decision by the Sukhoi Log city court was forwarded to the Ural federal district office of Roscomnadzor in order to add the site to the Register of Banned Sites.

Togliatti prosecutor acts on coat of arms
On 14 May it was reported that the general prosecutor of the Russian Federation, assisted by the prosecutors of the Samara region, Moscow and St Petersburg, had reviewed illegal use of the national coat of arms and had discovered the website of a Togliatti woman entrepreneur who traded in stationery and stamps with the image of the Russian coat of arms. The Togliatti city prosecutor filed a claim with the Tsentralnyi district federal court of Togliatti demanding that the state coat of arms be removed from the site and that the entrepreneur stop the trading in products featuring the coat of arms. The ISP hosting the site was told to eliminate the violation of the law and has now restricted access to the site.

Dreamwidth.org portal is blacklisted
On 8 May it was reported that several ISPs had blocked access to the portal dreamwidth.org whose IP-address was included in the Register of Banned Sites. The inclusion was triggered by a post about a method of suicide on one of its blogs.

Yamal court orders clampdown on fake diplomas
On 24 May the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district prosecutor reported that the Salekhard city court had granted the request of the Muravlenko city prosecutor to make the ISP Rostelecom resatrict access to websites selling fake diplomas and graduation certificates. The city prosecutor is overseeing compliance with the verdict.

Roscomnadzor bars social network by mistake
On 24 May it was announced that Roscomnadzor had added the VKontakte social network to the Register of Banned Sites. In some regions, particularly in Chita and St Petersburg, ISPs restricted access to the social network. According to media reports, the blacklisting took place because photos published by Vkontakte users had been identified by Roscomnadzor as child pornography. Roskomnadzor spokesman Vladimir Pikov said that VKontakte had been added to the list in error and would be removed from it.

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