EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Court Banned YouTube For “Extremist” Content = Worries About Free Speech

Posted by Info on 29/07/2010

A Far East court has banned YouTube and four other web sites for “extremist” content in a ruling that promises to raise new worries about free speech.
The Internet is widely recognized as the last uncensored media in Russia, and the ruling nudges the country toward the likes of Iran and Pakistan, which have blocked YouTube.

Incidentally, the court’s decision also bans videos by President Dmitry Medvedev.

YouTube.com was banned for the nationalist video “Russia to Russians,” which was ruled extremist by a Samara court in November and subsequently placed on the Justice Ministry’s federal list of banned extremist materials.
Judge Anna Aizenberg passed her verdict on YouTube on July 16, but the decision was only made public on Wednesday.

YouTube’s parent company, Google, denounced the ruling as unconstitutional. “In our opinion, the court’s decision … to limit access of Rosnet users to the whole YouTube.com site, not to a particular video, breaches the right for freedom of information, guaranteed by Article 29 of Russia’s Constitution, Google spokeswoman Alla Zabrovskaya said.

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