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Russian city blocks YouTube

Clampdown on 'extremist' material

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The Russian city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur has ordered ISP Rosnet to "restrict access" to YouTube and four other websites containing "extremist" material, Pravda reports.

Prosecutors in the far eastern Khabarovsk region city trawled cyberspace and unearthed several examples of restricted material, including excerpts from Hitler's Mein Kampf. On YouTube, they identified a video entitled Russia for Russians, which is "on the federal list of extremist materials".

A court required Rosnet "to cut access to several Russian online libraries and youtube.com website".

A Rosnet spokesperson insisted the company "did not own the resources and therefore could not act responsible for their content", and further didn't have "any rights to restrict access to information if subscribers do not infringe upon the conditions of the use of the internet".

Google Russia claimed the ruling was in breach of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Spokeswoman Alla Zabrovskaya said: "The court ruling restricts access not to separate videos, but to the whole website. Therefore, it deprives users of free access to information. It is worthy of note that YouTube contains a lot of information including the channel of the Russian president." ®

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