New framework for 'web' in Russia. Senators make cap for internet sites
Russian government seeks to adopt a law that proposes equating Internet sites with mass media depending on the frequency of visits. Sites with an audience of more than 1,000 people will thus fall under compulsory registration. Vladimir Slutsker, deputy chairman of the Joint Commission for Nationalities Policy and the State's Relations With Religious Associations at the Federation Council said that the law is needed to increase responsibility for the information being posted. As a result, the article argues, a number of information resources in the internet may decrease. Slutsker says that this reduction will affect resources, which post data known to be incorrect, all sorts of pornography and libel. The article discusses how the popular blogs, such as LiveJournal - Russia's most popular blogging platform, might also get affected by the law. However, the owner of a popular blog told the newspaper that if the legislative innovation is viewed as an attempt to impose censorship on the entire Russian section of the Internet, then it is doomed to fail. After all, it is a five-minute job to transfer any 'problem' site to a host that is physically located in another country. Comment: This article concerns government control policies in the Internet, and has implications for readers of Russian language sources on the Internet, including many Central Asians. Moreover, it might serve as an example of the possible policy decisions for Central Asian governments. Thanks to Erica for article! Source: BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union. Text of report by popular Russian newspaper Moskovskiy Komsomolets on 02/12/2008.