Russia’s new internet site blocking agency has begun ordering its first take-downs of sites deemed to contain offensive or illegal material.
The plan was approved this summer to create a blacklist of websites containing child porn, drug-related and extremist material and other content deemed illegal. The list was launched publicly at zapret-info.gov.ru in the last few days. According to RAPSI:
So far, these kind of blockages are unlikely to ruffle feathers. Should occasions arise in which certain political discourse, for example, is judged illegal, the matter would certainly become more controversial.
Free-speech and journalism lobby group Reporters Sans Frontiers opposes this and other related Russian laws, saying:
Website owners can check the online register to learn whether their site has been slated as illegal. They then have three days to block the individual content at issue or face blocking by ISPs.
Register operators say Google is on a list to be notified when they flag sites as illegal, but it is not clear what, if anything, Google will intend to do with that information.