Feeds

Russia launches internet blacklist to protect the kiddies

And you thought SOPA was bad

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Russian government has opened a blacklist of websites that will be blocked from domestic internet users to avoid them harming themselves with too much information.

The new rules mean that ISPs will automatically block websites that the courts have deemed inappropriate. The law was introduced with the usual caveats about it being to protect children from online predators and to stop drug distribution, but political websites that criticize Tsar President Putin have already been blocked by the courts.

The decision on what sites are to be banned will be enacted by the sinister-sounding Roskomnadzor (aka the Agency for the Supervision of Information Technology, Communications and Mass Media) and enforced with deep-packet inspection of all internet traffic across the country – which must be reassuring for those using Russian cloud providers.

Roskomnadzor maintains a portal for the public to warn it of sites to be banned, but also takes guidance from the Interior Ministry, the Federal Antidrug Agency, and the Federal Service for the Supervision of Consumer Rights and Public Welfare on what sites are causing trouble.

"[The] internet has always been a free territory. The government is not aimed at enforcing censorship there," Russia's Telecom Minister Nikolai Nikiforov said, the TASS news agency reports. "LiveJournal, YouTube and Facebook showcase socially responsible companies. That means that they will be blocked only if they refuse to follow Russian laws, which is unlikely, in my opinion."

The law was introduced in July, amid a wave of protest from local online groups. The Russian Wikipedia page went dark for a day and social networking sites warned their users to be careful what they say. Meanwhile the Russian Pirate Party has pledged to find ways around internet blockages.

"Pirates believe that the wording of the law gives the nebula almost unlimited power to officials who are free to close almost any resource with unwanted information, guided by formal reasons," the group said. "This, according to the Pirate Party of Russia, is an unprecedented attack on freedom of speech in the country, and the pirates will oppose Internet censorship."

The group has set up a website Rublacklist.net to provide access to banned pages, although this isn’t automatic – the group will review the list on a case-by-case basis to see if a ban is justified. It will also provide advice on how to get around any banning where possible and on how to maintain privacy online under the new regime.

Since the site will be hosted outside the borders of the Russian Federation, and will be mirrored extensively, the Pirate Party hopes to keep the free flow of information going even if the state moves to block it.

"The government's resources are finite, but the internet is endless," party founder Stanislav Shakirov told RIA. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.