Russian Wikipedia shuts down in protest at Internet billAgence France-Presse
MOSCOW—The Russian-language Wikipedia website shut down Tuesday with a stark black line across its main page in protest at a bill it warned could be used to censor the Internet.
“Imagine a world without free knowledge,” it said in a statement on an otherwise white page, saying amendments to be discussed in parliament Wednesday “could lead to the creation of extrajudicial censorship of the whole Russian-language Internet”.
The amendments to an information law are being promoted as a crackdown on child pornography in particular, but the Ru.Wikipedia.org site warned that they could “prompt the creation of a Russian version of the Great China Firewall”.
Russia already has a law “on protecting children from information that causes harm to their health and development,” it said, which was used to promote age certification.
The amendments to the law, passed last week in a first reading, call for the creation of a federal register that would rule on websites carrying banned information, and oblige site owners and providers to close down the offending sites.
The legislation highlights websites carrying child pornography, promoting drug use and giving advice on suicide.
The bill is due for a second reading in the lower house of parliament on Wednesday. If passed it will go through several other votes seen as a formality before being signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.
In Russia, the Internet plays a crucial role in disseminating opposition views through social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter and Live Journal and is also used to coordinate protests.
Recent Stories:Businesses commit 450 MW to resolve power shortage—solon 3 mins elapsed FEU nips La Salle to earn finals berth in UAAP 77 4 mins elapsed DOJ holds first public forum for new Criminal Code 27 mins elapsed Philippines seizes 15 paintings from Marcos family 33 mins elapsed ‘Habagat’ to transition to ‘Amihan’ in October 35 mins elapsed Nica asks for more intelligence funds 37 mins elapsed AFP goes to ‘rescue mode’ once disaster strikes 44 mins elapsed Thunderstorm drenches Metro Manila, neighboring provinces 46 mins elapsed