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Russia mulls banning websites instigating rallies

Russia mulls banning websites instigating rallies

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia’s lower house of parliament on Friday, Dec 20, gave its final approval for a bill to ban websites that call for unauthorized protests, according to RIA Novosti.

President Vladimir Putin said the day before that Russia would not tolerate protests like those that have recently rocked the Ukraine. “If anyone crosses the line, the government is obliged … to impose order,” Putin told journalists in Moscow.

The bill is expected to expand on legislation passed last year allowing the government to block websites that encourage drug use or suicide, or contain child pornography.

Some 85,000 websites have already been blocked under the law, according to Internet watchdog Rublacklist.net.

The bill is also seeking to ban sites that promote extremism, incite ethnic or religious strife, or contribute to terrorism. It now needs approval by the upper house of parliament and Putin’s signature to become law.

The current law empowers prosecutors to identify websites with offensive content and the federal communications agency to order Internet companies to block access to such sites.

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