parliament has passed a new internet blacklist law that has internet and civil rights groups in the country barking mad.
The powers that be argue that the new law should “protect children from information harmful to their health and development,” like recepies for homebrew Krokodil and questions about democracy.
However, critics argue that the new law will force internet providers to buy millions of dollars of additional gear needed for filtering. Many fear that, once in place, the equipment could be used to limit access to parts of the internet. There are economic concerns as well. Russia’s booming internet market created by droves of talented developers could be affected.
Filtration will be done at the discretion of a court and some activists fear that the courts could render verdicts based on politics, which is a still a worryingly common occurrence in Eastern Europe.
Wikipedia shut down its Russian site in protest of the law and Russia’s leading search engine Yandex also staged a protest.
The Duma has already passed a series of bills aimed at opposition groups and the country’s opposition movement. Last month a new law increased fines for protest violation and under a draft law aimed at the press, libel would be made a criminal offense.