On the 11th of July Russian State Duma holds the second reading of the amendments to the Law "On Information, Information Technologies and Protection of Information." LiveJournal is holding a protest against proposed amendments, as they can result in the creation of censorship in the Russian segment of the Internet, which is prohibited by the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
What are these amendments about?
Amendments shall be adopted within the framework of the Bill № 89417-6 - the Bill 'on childrens' protection from information harmful to their health and development'. The Bill would create a blacklist of blocked internet sites and proposes several other changes to the law, including liability for telecom service providers for failing to protect children.
How does this lead to the censorship on the Internet?
Lobbyists supporting the amendments argue that these amendments are directed only against illegal or inappropriate content for children.
However, the system of blocking such content does not apply any appeals or procedures for reconsideration. The lack of restrictions to this law make it hard to interpret the proposed amendments as anything other than censorship.
In practice this means that a provider will be able to block a certain site on ministerial orders without a court's judgment. We believe that the amendments to the law can lead to censorship in the Russian segment of the Internet, creating a black list, stop-lists and blocking certain sites. Unfortunately, the practice of law in Russia indicates a high probability of the worst-case scenario.
LiveJournal considers the introduction of any restrictions on freedom of expression and information in the Internet to be unacceptable. This is why we are against the adoption of the proposed amendments to the law "On Information, Information Technologies and Protection of Information".
- Bill № 89417-6 on the website of the Russian State Duma (Russian).
- Information about the Law in Wikipedia (English).