Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Russia Ponders Internet Freedoms

Posted by Info on 07/07/2010

The Russian lower house of parliament and the Communications Ministry have prepared separate draft laws to regulate the use of the Internet in Russia.

The main idea of the law is that anything permissible in real life should also be allowed in the Internet and that any attempts to introduce additional restrictions should be illegal.

On June 15, the Russian Supreme Court ruled that Internet media bear no responsibility for their readers’ comments. However, if the agency considers that these comments are an abuse of media freedom, for example contain an incitement to terrorist activities and crime, it may require a website to delete or edit such comments within 24 hours.

Internet media outlets which refuse to remove reader comments when requested to do so by the federal media watchdog will be prosecuted.

However, unregistered outlets, for example, blogs, will be held liable for offensive, extremist, libelous or false information that they may post.

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