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Censorship Your Rights Online

Russia Blocks Internet Sites of Putin Critics 309

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-net-for-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with news about Russias censorship of internet sites critical of President Vladimir Putin. "Russia blocked access to the internet sites of prominent Kremlin foes Alexei Navalny and Garry Kasparov on Thursday under a new law critics say is designed to silence dissent in President Vladimir Putin's third term. The prosecutor general's office ordered Russian internet providers to block Navalny's blog, chess champion and Putin critic Kasparov's internet newspaper and two other sites, grani.ru and ej.ru, state regulator Roskomnadzor said. The move was the latest evidence of what government opponents see as a crackdown on independent media and particularly the internet, a platform for dissenting views in a nation where state channels dominate the airwaves. Ej.ru editor Alexander Ryklin called it 'monstrous' and a 'direct violation of all the principles of freedom of speech,' More at EFF, and in earlier stories at the The Huffington Post, and Deutsche Welle, which notes, 'This year's report by Reporters Without Borders on World Day against Cyber Censorship condemns Russia as one of the "Enemies of the Internet." "Russia has adopted dangerous legislation governing the flow of news and information and freedom of expression online," it concludes.'"
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Russia Blocks Internet Sites of Putin Critics

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  • by cold fjord (826450) on Friday March 14, 2014 @02:14AM (#46480441)

    Sadly, Russia is turning more and more to Soviet ways. Putin was even rehabilitating Stalin.

    Putin Reportedly Claims the Dissolution of the Soviet Union May Have Been Illegal [mediaite.com]

    This may not end well.

    • Soviet Union dissolution was technically illegal like any other coup/revolution, so calling is so is a truism, but what does it have to do with rehabilitating Stalin?
      • by cold fjord (826450) on Friday March 14, 2014 @02:57AM (#46480585)

        As one of the great monsters of history, rehabilitating Stalin is an important bit of symbolism and tone. If Austria and Germany were to one day declare that they were reuniting in an act of self-determination by the German people, and then started making public pronouncements about the many great achievements of Der Führer, wouldn't that be cause for concern? Stalin killed far more than Der Führer.

        Putin’s long game? Meet the Eurasian Union [bostonglobe.com]

        • Putin’s long game? Meet the Eurasian Union [bostonglobe.com]

          It's always struck me that being just outside the european union must kinda suck. Customers in the EU will be reluctant to buy from your buisness because they know they risk being stuck with stupid fees for collecting trivial ammount of VAT*. Travel into neighbouring countries is subject to restrictions decided by the block as a whole** rather than by your neighboughing country.

          Putin aside I can see why the russians would not much like the idea of going from being the dominant force in a block to being the

          • by Xest (935314)

            Russia has always had the option of joining the EU, in fact, after the fall of the USSR there was even a lot of talk about allowing it entry into NATO.

            But that aint going to work for Putin because the EU is a largely democratic organisation, and Putin wants to run a dictatorship all by himself, so he's always chosen to pursue conflict with them rather than cooperation, unlike his predecessors post-USSR who were more progressive and more willing to look to eventually becoming a more integral part of Europe a

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        but what does it have to do with rehabilitating Stalin?

        Haven't seen the whitewashing of his crimes against the populace at large that they're pushing in the schools? Don't have friends or family that live in that part of the world who lived through it? Well that's okay. Stalin was a mass murderer, like many communist and socialist dictatorships he set the tone for all the other countries that followed that same ideology. However, what's happening these days isn't any different from fascist groups who whitewash their favorite fascist leader.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by polar red (215081)

          communist and socialist dictatorships

          I don't know what you understand under socialist and dictatorship, but these 2 terms are mutually exclusive. USSR was fascist.

          • by ultranova (717540) on Friday March 14, 2014 @07:28AM (#46481509)

            I don't know what you understand under socialist and dictatorship, but these 2 terms are mutually exclusive. USSR was fascist.

            USSR was a secular theocracy. It treated Marxism - or "Dialectic Materialism" - as revealed truth, and as theocrats usually do, made more shit up as it went along. If and when reality disagreed with revelation, it got ignored or violently suppressed. And it never really changed: people got tired and disappointed with their prophet, just like they'd gotten tired and disappointed with the Czar earlier, and abandoned him. But the spirit of autocracy - the myth of divine leader - lived on, thus Putin is now enthroned as the new Czar, just like Stalin before him. Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss.

            And no, USSR was not fascist. Fascism and Stalinism are both manifestations of something far older and nastier, a sickness that to some extent pervades all human societies. All who try to build a utopia reach the point where it seems the goal is just within range if they only sacrifice a few people to reach it. If they don't, the paradise remains flawed, and if they do, it turns into a nightmare - just like Soviet Union and various fascist regimes did.

            Of course, the US also did exactly that to win the Cold War, and it seems the bill is now coming due. Time will tell how far the "land of the free" will fall before what it's unleashed is done with it.

            • by polar red (215081)

              >USSR was a secular theocracy
              interesting points you make. but in practice, the ussr worked like a fascistic state: a small group of people controlling the whole of the state. throw in the militaristic tendencies and the nationalism ... sounds a bit like the other superpower does it not (yeah, technically the US has 2 parties, but they are both controlled by the people with the money)

              • Funny how all flavors of strong socialism end up fascistic. Almost like there was a basic defect in the philosophy.

                Hint: the defect is excessive concentration of power.

                • by polar red (215081)

                  >excessive concentration of power.
                  That's exactly what socialism is NOT any system with a large concentration of power in few hands goes against the definition of socialism

      • by h5inz (1284916)
        Assembling the Soviet Union was illegal, so any laws and treaties made by Soviet Union are void anyway.
        • by psychonaut (65759)
          You could say the same thing about the United States of America, whose formation in 1776 was a treasonous act against the Kingdom of Great Britain. In both cases it makes little practical sense to consider all their respective laws and treaties void, and as a matter of law they are not (at least insofar as Russia and the USA are concerned).
          • by h5inz (1284916)
            You are right, so that must mean there is no need to complain about legality of the Soviet Union dissolution either. I am fine with this one too.
          • by rossdee (243626)

            And what gave the British the right to set up colonies anyway? The (Amer)Indians were here first... (well long before the British, French and Spanish anyway.
            The Vikings also reached North America before the other Europeans... Say who founded Russia in the first place?

      • by psychonaut (65759)
        But there was no revolution, and the only coup was a short-lived one which actually tried to restore the ancien regime. The Soviet Union was dismantled largely peacefully and within the existing political framework, via legislation and referenda. Furthermore there was a continuity of leadership in most republics -- those at the upper echelons of society remained very much in power, except that post-USSR they were fabulously rich as well, having dispensed with the pretense of economic equality and helped t
    • For a man who puts himself on his own, almost personal, state tv to the extent Putin does, we can probably safely assume that articles with the phrase "Putin reportedly claims" are full of it.

      I don't understand why you keep going back to Soviet days -- your "née Soviet Union" line is almost never missing, though it doesn't make any sense (born as Soviet Union?). It is almost as if you feel you need to arouse ancient Cold War anxiety among the older readers.

      Really the present Russian antics are scary en

    • Sadly, Russia is turning more and more to Soviet ways. Putin was even rehabilitating Stalin.

      Well the West, thanks to the upstanding duo of Nixon & Kissinger, "rehabilitated" Mao's empire already in the mid-seventies and helped the fine western industrialists relocate their ("means of") production over to the PRC while helping their own profit margins in the process, at least for a while.

      Mao Zedong, despite having achieved double the body count of Stalin, doesn't even need rehabilitation as his "Communi

    • Sadly, Russia is turning more and more to Soviet ways.

      Soviet ways??

      This is classic Russian Empire from the 1700's and 1800's. It's not something that Stalin or Lenin thought of all on their own.

  • by Timmy D Programmer (704067) on Friday March 14, 2014 @02:26AM (#46480481) Journal
    Rules against criticizing the government makes a political campaign all but impossible for anyone but the incumbent. In other words, they are now a dictatorship. Hopefully the Russian people won't give up their freedoms so easily, and push back.
    • by Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) on Friday March 14, 2014 @02:45AM (#46480545)
      Well, it's nice to hope, but Putin's rating is at its highest in the last 3 years, somewhat about 71% [wsj.com]. There is no realistic hope for any "push back" anytime soon. Its not like some crazy dictator and small group of his henchmen took over the country - no, its like the majority of population is winding up some sort of mass psychosis. Which is a much more terrifying thought, really.
      • by Sabriel (134364)

        Why should I trust polling figures produced by an organisation that is owned and run by the same government that is suppressing opposition media?

        • Well, even the opposition (at least the sane ones) today admit that Putin's popularity is quite high - much higher than popularity of said opposition. Even in our social networks (including LiveJournal) there are many, many people who honestly believe that Putin is doing a great job. And the silent majority are mostly apathetic, because of "If not Putin, than who?" mentality. There is no reason not to trust these polling figures, as there is no political or social force strong enough to prove them wrong. So
          • Our 'opposition' was always a joke, not enough sane and skilled people in it. Zhirinovsky openly shows it on his own example. He's obviously a gifted person, but he opted for a career of a clown instead. Presumably because there's no place in political life for anyone remotely serious.
    • by Xest (935314) on Friday March 14, 2014 @04:11AM (#46480811)

      Normally I like to not try and blame the people for the actions of their leadership, but frankly I've lost all faith in the ability for the majority of the Russian populace to engage in any kind of rational thinking at this point. They are part the problem.

      A couple of years back they were out in protest against Putin rigging the vote to put himself back in power and I thought hey, finally, the Russian people are taking responsibility for their state, and trying to deal with their dictator.

      Now two years on, an Olympic games, a bit of propaganda, creating a hate target in homosexuals to blame societies ills on (just as Hitler did with the Jews etc.), an attempted annexation of Crimea, and the resurrection of Stalin as a popular deity and suddenly Putin has 70% approval ratings again.

      So whilst there are clearly a good number of Russians that still want him out, at this point they're a minority by quite a stretch. It really is the Russian people that are the problem - you might as well just alias the nation as Dumbfuckland now, because it really is a nation mostly full of dumb fucks given the approval they're now giving Putin based on his fascist, dictatorial policies. I thought it was bad enough that my nation, the UK is full of people so easily swayed by populism, bigotry, and general ignorance peddled by the media, but the idiocy of many of my countrymen appears to pale compared to those in Russia. At least whilst our population recently argued against striking Syria by a decent margin. In contrast, the Russians positively support annexing the whole of the Ukraine, not just Crimea with about 59% support on latest polls.

      I wouldn't put your faith in the Russian people, they mostly seem to be an extremely fickle, easily swayed bunch and Putin controls the media, so swaying them his way appears trivial.

      • This is NOT intended to be a troll post.. I'm just pointing out the bias, hypocrisy and double standards.

        And I'm really trying to not blame American people for what their Gov is doing. Going around conquering, stealing, raping cultures, and pillaging. What Hillary Clinton calls "bringing democracy". I'm not even gonna start on covert psy ops marketing shit cia does to manipulate people in other countries to start hating on their own leaders so that you can install puppet leader who will not do anything good

        • by Xest (935314)

          Well ignoring the fact I'm not American, something I thought would be pretty clear from my post, where I say "my nation, the UK", what you say still applies to my nation, and I agree it is hypocritical for us to lecture on some issues.

          This is not one of those issues, and the argument has worn thin. This government has been actively pulling us out of wars, and our current parliament was the one that put a stop to plans to bomb Syria when we voted against that.

          As such I do (especially as someone who voted for

  • I wonder if blocking this kind of stuff is self defeating. It sort of signals what you should be looking at. If I saw that The Huffington Post was blocked, it would make me curious and I would find a way to read The Huffington Post.
    • by quantaman (517394)

      I'm curious about this myself, obviously dedicated opposition will oppose Putin and evade blocks regardless, so I assume the target is slightly apathetic or undecided Russians. I suspect they're mostly trying to stop people from posting articles on the equivalent of the Russian Facebook.

      China is probably the best example of blocking on a large scale (by a country that dominates the language), there's clearly a lot of Chinese who go to great lengths to evade the censorship, but what about the ordinary people

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Friday March 14, 2014 @05:56AM (#46481143) Homepage

    Commenting here is great, but Putin does not read Slashdot. Write to your country's Russian ambassador, tell him what you think. OK: what you say will be ignored, but if 10,000 of you write - then Putin may hear of it ... maybe no more than 2 lines at the bottom of some report, but that is better than nothing.

    Just to make it easier for you: the UK Russian embassy contact page [rusemb.org.uk] (I would suggest Russia-UK relations queries); the USA Russian embassy contact page [russianembassy.org], post & 'phone only, unless someone can dig better than I can. Also feel free to reply to this comment with contact info for the Russian embassy in your country.

    If you say nothing, then you will be ignored. Saying something cannot be worse than that !

    • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Friday March 14, 2014 @06:22AM (#46481237) Homepage

      This is what I wrote. Do not copy this word for word, write it your way.

      Dear sir,

      I was aghast to learn that Russia has sought to stifle political dissent by blocking news sites and closing these sites. This is very much against the spirit of glasnost that the great Mikhail Gorbachev used some 25 years ago when he brought the Soviet Union into the modern world.

      To be healthy a society needs its citizens to be able to speak freely, otherwise it will stagnate: innovation will suffer if new ideas are frowned upon, we live in a changing world, if we do not change then we slowly decline.

      This is as much about science & technology as it is about politics. If you stifle political thought then you chill all thought and the country will suffer.

      Mr Putin is putting his short term comfort before the long term health of Russia. Please tell him this this is neither good for Russia nor the rest of the world.

      Please convey this email to the ambassador.

      If you are not aware of what I talk about, please read: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/03/russia-blocks-access-major-independent-news-sites [eff.org]

  • by korbulon (2792438) on Friday March 14, 2014 @06:47AM (#46481309)
    Petty power play by Puting to prevent protest and put plaintive political people in a perpetual position of powerlessness.
    • Perfect! Playful and powerful political prose is pretty precious presently. Please, proceed, promote personal prudence.
  • I have been reading a lot about the turmoil going on in Ukraine, from both English and Russian language sources. I still don't get it why Putin invaded Ukraine. I get it that returning Crimea back to the mother Russia will strike the chord with the Russian nationalists. One thing is certain that his popularity is hitting another high right now, so he and the rest of his ruling elite can sail through the next round of elections. But could Putin and other politicians in Russia be so shirt sighted that they w

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