Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Putin Tightening Internet Restrictions with Law

Two new laws were signed by Putin this week: one ordered internet providers to block websites that offer VPNs; the other orders instant messaging services to establish user IDs by using phone numbers, and also allows the government to order operators to restrict internet users if the government decides the users are disseminating illegal content.

The Russian government wants less anonymity on the internet. It says the steps are taken in order to prevent extremist materials and ideas.

However, there are questions about how these laws are used: Already, a Russian blogger was given 3 1/2 years (later reduced to 1 year) suspended sentence for posting videos deemed by the Russian courts to incite hatred and insult religious believers' feelings. He was seen playing Pokemon Go in a church in one of his videos. He was also added to the "terrorists and extremists" list.

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