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A war on freedom...

Russian censors inflict extensive TV cuts on western programming with significant gay content


Link Here28th February 2023
Russian viewers watched the HBO's hit series The White Lotus in the only officially available format via streaming platform Amediateka. The platform severely censored the second season of The White Lotus to comply with repressive Russian law banning gay content.

Scenes were removed, lines of dialogues were purposefully mistranslated in dubbing and Russian subtitles (eg We're all gays here ,became We're all men here ) and the bare buttocks of actor Leo Woodall were covered with a poorly photoshopped blanket, even though featuring in a straight scene.

HBO's Euphoria was also edited in similar ways by Amediateka with nearly two hours' worth of content cut out of the series' second season.

Viewers also discovered that the translation of Sex and the City was tweaked, replacing the word gay with boy , while several scenes were completely cut out.

An amended anti-gay law was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin at the end of last year. It is a more severe version of 2013's law that saw the country outlawing 'LGBT propaganda' and depictins of LGBT behaviour among children under 18 (i.e., holding hands in public, men wearing colourful nail polish, kissing).

After December 2022 all kinds of LGBT propaganda are considered illegal. The list includes untraditional sexual relationships and gender reassignment. Lawmakers are still working on the list of further criteria for proclaiming a work illegal,' and it will come into effect in September.

Russia's internet censor Roskomnadzor has also issued its own list of movies and TV shows that were to be removed from all the legal streaming platforms including Call Me By Your Name , Brokeback Mountain , the first season of The Sex Lives of College Girls and several episodes of This Is Going to Hurt .

 

 

Onion tears...

Tor appeals against blocking by the Russian internet censor


Link Here24th January 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
US-based Tor Project and Russian digital-rights protection org RosKomSvoboda are appealing a Russian court's decision to block access to public Tor nodes and the project's website.

The Tor Project operates the Tor decentralized network, which runs on top of the Internet, allowing users to bypass censorship, access websites anonymously, and visit special Onion URLs (.onion) accessible only over Tor.

In December, the Tor Project announced that Russia blocked their website and various public Tor nodes used to connect to the decentralized network in regions of Russia.

RosKomSvoboda and Tor believe that the court's decision to block the Tor Project's website and infrastructure is illegal for the following reasons:

  • The case was considered without the participation of the representatives of Tor, which violated their procedural rights and the adversarial nature of the process;
  • The decision violates the constitutional right to freely provide, receive and disseminate information and protect privacy.
For now, Russian users can bypass the country's censorship of the website using a mirror site hosted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation at https://tor.eff.org/ . Volunteers have also contributed over 1,000 additional Tor bridges that are not currently blocked, allowing Russian people to access the Tor network and counter government censorship.

 

 

Toxic proposals...

Russian proposals to treat all the depictions of gay relationships as restricted pornography


Link Here3rd December 2021
A powerful Russian MP known for homophobic statements and projects has proposed a bill that would classify all depictions of LGBTQ+ relationships in the same banned or restricted categories as pornography.

Vitaly Milonov -- a member of Vladimir Putin's governing United Russia party, and deputy chairman of the Federal Assembly's Committee on Family Affairs, Women and Children -- said that people should have the right to ask the state's regulator to not allow the broadcast of films with LGBTQ+ content.

The announcement coincided with another Russian official's disclosure that he had prepared a catalogue of toxic content, using a system that labels content from completely banned to simply undesirable. Igor Ashmanov, a member of Russia's Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, revealed that he had developed a catalogue to mark so-called 'toxic content' on the internet.

The resource, Ashmanov said, would flag topics such as radical feminism [and] 'child-free' lifestyles, as well as the promotion of homosexuality and bestiality.

 

 

Blocking democracy...

Russian internet censors ban 6 VPNs in an attempt to silence the opposition in the run up to elections


Link Here4th September 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Russia's internet censor Roskomnadzor has blocked six providers of virtual private networks (VPNs), which people can use to circumvent government website blocking.

The targeted VPN providers, include the widely used Nord VPN and Express VPN.

The move, announced on September 3, comes as Russian authorities tighten control of the Internet, blocking access to dozens of websites ahead of parliamentary elections this month.

The Russian censor justified the new restrictions by saying that VPNs allow access to blocked content created conditions for illegal activities, including those related to the distribution of drugs, child pornography, extremism, and suicidal tendencies.

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