Category : Andrei Soldatov

Voices from the frontlines of censorship: Andrei Soldatov

alt informationThe beauty of the Russian approach to internet censorship is that it doesn’t need to be technically sophisticated to be efficient -- it's all about instigating self-censorship, writes Andrei Soldatov

What’s Russia blocking on the web?

April saw a bizarre variety of sites blocked by the Russian authorities or internet service providers – among them Pussy Riot videos, Wikipedia, the Yandex search engine, and sites promoting bribery and corruption. Compiled by Andrei Soldatov

What Russia censored in March

In March the Russian authorities turned their attentions to online social networks — and the Kremlin proved adept at getting major international companies to comply with its directives: on 15 March Twitter blocked an account that promoted drugs and on 29 March Facebook took down a page called “Suicide School” rather than see its entire network blacklisted. On 25 March, reports surfaced that the ministry of Communications and Mass Media planned to transfer maintenance of the Registry of Banned Sites from communications regulator Roskomnadzor to a third party selected by Roskomnadzor. The ministry proposed changes to the registry; to maintain website owners’ information on the register but deny sites owners — as well as hosting and Internet providers — access to [...]

What Russia censored in February

It became clear in February that internet censorship in Russia could be expanded to include sites with gay content. The State Duma voted for a bill banning “propaganda” for homosexuality involving minors, the second reading of which is scheduled for 25 May. Many commentators believe that by then the bill will include amendments extending the list of conditions for blocking websites to include those containing information about homosexuality, which could be blocked without a court order. Current laws on protection of children could be similarly amended. Duma deputy Elena Mizulina stated: “No adult has the right to impose their sexual preferences on a person under 18 years of age. Propaganda for homosexuality should be considered information inappropriate for children.” The [...]

What Russia censored in December

December provided further evidence that the Russian authorities’ prime targets in their quest to censor allegedly illegal websites are not those containing content harmful to children, as they have claimed, but those publicising “extremist” political views and offering online gambling. In the meantime, a new trend has emerged in Russia. Institutions providing public access to […]

What does Russia censor?

In July the Russian parliament approved a bill designed to increase the Kremlin’s control of the internet. The new laws grant the government sweeping powers to block access to internet resources. Russian Wikipedia blacked out to protest the law claiming that it would “lead to the creation of a Russian analogue to China’s great firewall”. Campaigners fear […]

The Kremlin makes its move on Facebook

Russian parliamentarians have passed legislation that will establish a central register of banned websites. The new laws are ostensibly designed for child protection, but Andrei Soldatov says the real aim is to take control over the country’s burgeoning social networks READ: INDEX ON CENSORSHIP CONDEMNS RUSSIAN INTERNET BLACKLIST PLAN

Russia: FSB press office licenced to spy

Russia's Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, has granted the same office that responds to journalists requests licence to search their homes, wiretap them and place them under surveillance, reveals Andrei Soldatov

Lebedev’s standards

Is the Evening Standard headed for the same fate as Alexander Lebedev’s under-resourced Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta? Andrei Soldatov reports