News24

Russia Wikipedia shuts down to protest

2012-07-10 14:16

Moscow - Wikipedia has shut down its Russian-language site for 24 hours to protest a law that would give the government sweeping powers to blacklist certain sites.

Lawmakers say that the bill, which is to be reviewed in parliament today, is designed to protect the well-being of children. It enables the government to block sites that show child pornography, promote teen suicide, or spread information about drugs.

But both internet users and human rights activists have loudly protested the law. The Presidential Council of Human Rights said that the law provides too wide a scope for the government to "subjectively" select which sites to blacklist.

The Wikipedia protest comes after a similar shutdown of the English-language site in January to protest the anti-pirating Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) in the US Congress.


This YouTube video explains why Wikipedia protested in the US:


Comments
  • man.zanilla.73 - 2012-07-10 19:15

    Well. I am very much against the ideas of the SA government's proposed media laws. It is their intent to prevent the media from exposing their corruption. How can it be bad if the Russian government use their proposed law to ONLY ban sites with child pornography, teen suicide, drugs as stated.

      Beertjie Peertjie - 2012-07-10 21:03

      I guess it's the potential for abuse of powers that causes the unease?

      LanfearM - 2012-07-11 08:32

      I agree that it is a good law if the Russian government can only ban child porn, teen suicide, etc. sites. Yet if the law is too wide open for interpretation, then it can be abused by government to try and control the flow of information.

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