On November 1, a special law aimed to protect children from harmful web content – the so-called internet blacklist – has come into effect. Starting from today, every website containing child pornography, suicide instructions or drugs promotion can be forced to go offline.
A unified register of websites with information that is banned to be distributed in Russia (http://zapret-info.gov.ru) went online on Thursday and immediately came under hacker attack. Now its operability is restored.
Now anyone (even anonymously) can use the source to report on a 'harmful' website. Every report will be analyzed by experts before making a final decision.
The law was passed by the Russian parliament in July 2012, in spite of a wave of criticism among rights advocates and popular Russian websites who stated it was an attack on freedom of speech and would lead to widespread censorship on the web.
Ordinary users won't be allowed to see the full blacklist, but they will be able to check whether a particular internet site has been banned.
Author: Julia Alieva