Twitter Helps Russian Agency with Internet Blacklist

MOSCOW, March 15 (RIA Novosti) – The administration of the Twitter micro-blogging service has begun cooperating with Russia’s media and communications watchdog Roskomnadzor by limiting access to accounts connected with blacklisted websites, the watchdog said in a statement.

“Since the beginning of March, Twitter, upon request from Roskomnadzor, blocked access to five posts,” the agency said in a statement, adding that two of them were related to drug distribution and three promoted suicide.

Twitter’s administration also deleted an account that was advertising a drug distribution network and notified Roskomnadzor about it on Friday.

Internet censorship became a topic of heated online debate in Russia after a new law that came into force last year allowed extrajudicial blacklisting of web content deemed to be promoting suicide, pedophilia or drug use.

Information freedom supporters call the blacklist, which has been up and running since November, a potential means of online censorship. No reports of possible use of the blacklist for political purposes have been made thus far, but numerous online reports criticized Roskomnadzor for ineffectiveness both in selecting targets and enforcing the ban.


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