East Europe News


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 Offsite Article: How the Russian Internet Censor Banned Itself...

Link Here 15th June 2017
roskomnadzor logo Russian internet users fight back against government censorship

See article from bloomberg.com


  Fantasy Games...

Uzbekistan bans 34 computer games for propagating violence and disturbing 'inter-religious harmony'

Link Here 30th May 2017
UzbekistanUzbekistan has banned a long list of computer games claimed to be distorting values and threatening stability. The list includes global hits like Grand Theft Auto and innocuous classics like The Sims.

The ban makes it illegal to import and distribute the games. Authorities claims the games could be used to propagate violence, pornography, threaten security and social and political stability.There is also concern they might disturb civil peace and inter-ethnic and inter-religious 'harmony'. Another reason given is the potential distribution of false information about Uzbekistan and the distortion of its historic, cultural and spiritual values.

One would have thought that religion might be a more provable and obvious candidate for propagating violence, threatening security, or causing social and political instability.

The list of 34 games ranges from ego-shooters to horror or erotic games and has been approved by a government commission. It lists Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat, Doom, and The Sims.


 Update: Blocking unblocking...

Russian government gets nasty with internet censorship circumvention services

Link Here 21st April 2017  full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia restoring repressive state control of media
Russia flagThe Russian government is preparing to scale-up its war on people accessing blocked webssites by hitting services that provide workarounds. A new bill developed by the government requires VPNs and other anonymizing services to stop providing access to blocked domains. If they do not, they themselves will also be blocked. Search engines also face sanctions for linking to banned sites.

When it comes to blocking websites, Russia is quickly emerging as a world leader. Tens of thousands  of sites are now blocked in the country on copyright infringement and a wide range of other censorship grounds.

Of course, Russian citizens are not always prepared to be constrained by their government, so large numbers of people regularly find ways to circumvent ISP blockades. The tools and methods deployed are largely the same as those used in the West, including VPNs, proxies, mirror sites and dedicated services such as Tor.

To counter this defiance, the Russian government has been considering legislation to tackle sites, tools and services that provide Internet users with ways to circumvent blockades. According to local news outlet Vedomosti , that has now resulted in a tough new bill.

Russia's plan is to issue a nationwide ban on systems and software that allow Internet users to bypass website blockades previously approved by telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor. This means that if a VPN, proxy or similar tool unblocks torrent site RuTracker, for example, it will be breaking the law. As a result, it too will find itself on Russia's banned site list.

The publication says it has confirmed the bill's existence with a federal official and several Internet service provider sources.

As previously reported , Russia also has search engines in its sights. It wants to prevent links to banned sites appearing in search results, claiming that these encourage people to access banned material. The new bill reportedly lays out a new framework which will force search engines to remove such links. Failing to do so could result in fines of up to $12,400 per breach, clearly a significant issue for companies such as Google and local search giant Yandex.


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