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East Europe Censorship News


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Explicitly legal...

Georgia's constitutional court overturns pornography ban

Link Here11th November 2022
The Constitutional Court of Georgia has ruled  to overturn the country's blanket ban on the production and distribution of pornography.

The court effectively legalized the production and dissemination of pornography, ruling in favor of a claim that the current definition of 'pornography' was vague and open to interpretation. The judges also ordered lawmakers to come up with a clearer definition of pornography by May 2023.

Until the court's ruling, the making, dissemination or advertisement of pornographic works, printed publications, images or similar items was punishable by up to two years in prison.

According to reports, the four Constitutional Court judges found unanimously that the law left an 'unreasonably wide margin' for interpretation which could create the ground for 'arbitrariness and injustice.' The law did not differentiate between pornography and erotic material, or whether 'pornography' necessarily implied bodily penetration, nudity or a portrayal of sexual activity without showing sex organs.

The term obscenity, used to define pornography for broadcasting purposes, was also ruled to be too abstract.'"



Railing against the decadent West...

Russia is legislating to ban all gay information

Link Here27th October 2022
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
Current legislation in Russia bans providing or promoting gay information to children. Now this law is being extended to all adults.

Those convicted face large fines for promoting what Russia calls non-traditional sexual relations.

The law extension was framed as part of a broader battle over civilisational values with the decadent West and linking it to the decision to invade Ukraine.

Under the proposal, information about non-traditional lifestyles or the rejection of family values would be considered legally the same as pornography, the promotion of violence, or stoking racial, ethnic and religious tensions. Another element of the extensions prohibits information which might cause minors to desire to change their sex, a reference to transgender people.

The law will allow any information on the internet discussing LGBT topics to be blocked and films deemed to contain positive depictions of being gay to be banned. The wide-ranging ban also extends to advertising and books - both non-fiction and literature - raising censorship concerns from publishers, who have warned of the risk that it could even affect classics of Russian literature.

The head of Russia's Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has also backed the new legislation.

The bill has broad support but will first be approved by the upper house of the Russian parliament.



Funding Putin's laying waste of Ukraine...


Link Here19th July 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Russia has fined Google 21.1bn rouble ($373m) for failing to restrict access to material about the war in Ukraine that Russia does not like.

Roskomnadzor, the country's communications regulator, cited information that discredited Russia's military and posts urging people to protest.

Google's local subsidiary declared bankruptcy last month. The move came after Russian authorities seized its local bank account to extract 7.2bn roubles that the firm had been ordered to pay for similar reasons last year.

The fine was calculated as a share of the firm's local revenue, marks the biggest penalty ever imposed on a tech company in Russia, according to state media.

Surely the fine can't be paid lest it gets used to kill and maime people of Ukraine.



Propaganda porn...

Ukrainians bypass Russian censorship via adverts placed on porn sites

Link Here7th July 2022
Ukrainian activists have reportedly started buying ad space on adult sites accessible in Russia to bypass Vladimir Putin's ramped-up censorship efforts and provide accurate information about the invasion.

Jemimah Steinfeld, editor-in-chief of Index on Censorship explained that adult sites are perfect conduits for disseminating information to counteract state propaganda.

Steinfeld cited Ukrainian digital marketing expert Anastasiya Baydachenko as saying that adult sites offer huge audiences whose operators prioritize profits over politics and are therefore quite willing to take her money.

Baydachenko first tried buying ads on Google, YouTube, Facebook and other high-traffic sites, but Russia's fake news law undermined that effort -- whereas the ads on adult sites have reached hundreds of millions of internet users in Russia.



A war against truth...

Russian internet censors take action against Tor and VPNs

Link Here5th June 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Authorities in Russia have confirmed a that a new crackdown to prevent citizens from accessing VPN services is underway. Internet censor Roscomnadzor says that measures are being taken to limit access to VPN services that violate Russian law, ie providing access to content previously deemed illegal by the government.

Just like the UK, Russia introduced its internet censorship law claiming it to be a measure to ensure the safety of its citizens online. The Extremist Websites Blocking Law created a national blacklist for ISPs to block access to banned websites.

Over the last decade Russia has introduced more laws to expand its blocking powers to encompass pirate streaming sites and torrent portals, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and any news sites that stray from the Kremlin's definition of factual reporting.

In response, citizens got accustomed to unblocking unlicensed media sites using their VPN and Tor skills to get an unrestricted view of the world. Russia responded by placing strict rules on VPN servers in Russia and then via the VPN Law, outlawing internet tools that enable access to illegal information.

Russia has been using its anti-VPN legislation to remove hundreds of thousands of VPN-related links from Google and since the invasion of Ukraine, has stepped up the pace . Tor is also in the middle of a blocking drama and now faces a court battle .

Over the past few days, Russian VPN users reported fresh issues when trying to access well-known providers such as NordVPN, which does not even have servers in Russia. Problems were also experienced when accessing Switzerland-based Proton VPN, peer-to-peer censorship circumvention tool Lantern, Windscribe, and related services including VPN creation tool Outline .

In a statement to local media, telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor reiterated that website unblocking tools are illegal and measures are being taken to limit access to them.



War censorship...

UK internet censor Ofcom orders ISPs, social media sites and app stores to block Russian propaganda channels RT and Sputnik

Link Here6th May 2022
Full story: Russia Today Propaganda TV...Russia Today, English language international propaganda channel

As part of the Government’s package of sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on Wednesday 27 April 2022, the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs made new regulations imposing restrictions on the provision of certain internet services to, or for the benefit of, designated persons. Currently the Secretary of State has named TV-Novosti (RT) and Rossiya Segodnya (Sputnik) as designated persons for these purposes.

The Regulations relate to the provision of internet access services, social media services and application stores. They were laid before Parliament and came into force on Friday 29 April 2022.

The Regulations require different actions to be taken depending on the nature of the services that are offered:

  • Providers of internet access services must take reasonable steps to prevent users of the service in the United Kingdom from accessing, by means of that service, an internet service provided by TV-Novosti or Rossiya Segodnya.

  • Providers of social media services must take reasonable steps to prevent content that is generated directly on the service, or uploaded to or shared on the service, by TV-Novosti or Rossiya Segodnya being encountered by a user of the service in the United Kingdom.

  • Providers of application stores through which an application for an internet service may be downloaded or otherwise accessed must take reasonable steps to prevent users of the application store in the United Kingdom from downloading or otherwise accessing, by means of that service, an internet service provided by TV-Novosti or Rossiya Segodnya.

For these purposes, internet services provided by TV-Novosti include; internet services provided by Rossiya Segodnya include

The Regulations appoint Ofcom as the enforcement authority responsible for ensuring compliance, including granting us information gathering powers, and additional powers to impose monetary penalties of up to £1,000,000 in relevant circumstances. Were it necessary for Ofcom to take enforcement action, we would follow the general processes and procedures set out in our regulatory enforcement guidelines.



Offsite Article: Squad303 breaks through Russian internet censorship...

Link Here 20th March 2022
Polish internet freedom fighters spam Russian email users to inform them about Putin's murderous invasion of Ukraine

See article from



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 . 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.



Ukranian offensive...

Ukraine's minister of censorship culture is offended by the Netflix show, Emily in Paris

Link Here2nd January 2022
Emily in Paris is a 2020 US/France comedy romance by Darren Star
Starring Lily Collins, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu and Ashley Park IMDb

Emily, an ambitious twenty-something marketing executive from Chicago, unexpectedly lands her dream job in Paris when her company acquires a French luxury marketing company - and she is tasked with revamping their social media strategy. Emily's new life in Paris is filled with intoxicating adventures and surprising challenges as she juggles winning over her work colleagues, making friends, and navigating new romances.

Ukraine's minister of culture has been watching Netflix series Emily in Paris -- and he's not happy. Oleksandr Tkachenko shared his frustration about what he considers offensive in the way in which Petra, a Ukrainian character, is portrayed in season 2 of the show.

Tkachenko described Petra, played by Daria Panchenko, as a "caricature." Petra makes a bad impression on Emily when she unapologetically steals clothes from a local mall and encourages her to do the same, before sprinting off onto the streets of Paris.

'Unacceptable' and offensive Tkachenko condemned the storyline. In 'Emily in Paris' we have a caricature of a Ukrainian woman, which is unacceptable. On the other hand, it is also offensive. Will Ukrainians be seen as such abroad? Who steal, want to get everything for free, be afraid of deportation? That should not be the case, he wrote in a post on his official Telegram channel.

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