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Russian jailed for 6 years for smutty billboard stunt

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A Russian man has been jailed for six years for putting smut on a streetside video billboard.

Igor Blinnikov, 41, hacked into the systems of an ad agency 3StarsMedia in January 2010 in order to stream images of hardcore muck onto a billboard on the busy Garden Ring road, close to the Interior Ministry building in central Moscow.

Winter traffic in the vicinity, which never moves quickly in the depths of winter, was further held up as a result. The two-minute clip looped for about 20 minutes before authorities pulled the plug, according to reports at the time.

Russian authorities, unlike the world at large, were less than amused by the stunt. An investigation was launched that tracked Blinnikov down to his home in the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk. A subsequent raid recovered 20 grams of marijuana, enough to charge Blinnikov with narcotics distribution, an offence that earned him a five-year term last March.

Blinnikov stood trial for the hacking offences this week. Prosecutors asked Moscow's Zamoskovoretsky Court to imprison him for six years over the offence, a term to be served concurrently with the dope peddling offence. Judges met the prosecution requests in full, Global Post reports, so that the unfortunate Blinnikov is not set for release until 2017, a year before Russia is due to host the World Cup.

Russian language reports of the sentencing can be found via Gazetta here. ®

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