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Russia Quietly Passes Anti-Blogger Law 284

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-in-time-for-cold-war-2.0 dept.
randomErr (172078) writes "Russia is tightening its grip on free speech and freedom of the Internet by creating a new 'bloggers law'. This policy follows the pattern set by China, Pakistan, Turkey, and Iran." Any site with more than 3000 daily visitors will be required to register and be held to a number of restrictions, quoting the article: "Besides registering, bloggers can no longer remain anonymous online, and organizations that provide platforms for their work such as search engines, social networks and other forums must maintain computer records on Russian soil of everything posted over the previous six months."
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Russia Quietly Passes Anti-Blogger Law

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  • by SocietyoftheFist (316444) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @10:55AM (#46939815)

    Enjoy your slide back in to totalitarianism.

    • by willie3204 (444890) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @10:58AM (#46939861)

      If only they had the tools the NSA has.. They wouldn't even have to make it public!

      • by Albanach (527650)

        Is the impact of this really limited to Russia? LiveJournal is now based there and, while I'm sure it is used much less today than ten years ago, it must still host a large number of accounts belonging to bloggers in the US and elsewhere. Will real names now need to be attached to these accounts, or will their owner's real names need to be passed to the Russian authorities?

        • Is the impact of this really limited to Russia? LiveJournal is now based there and, while I'm sure it is used much less today than ten years ago, it must still host a large number of accounts belonging to bloggers in the US and elsewhere.

          No, it's not. My wife has been using LiveJournal for a dozen years. She's started moving all the content off there and onto an American hosting service.

      • by mi (197448)

        If only they had the tools the NSA has.. They wouldn't even have to make it public!

        Yes, yes. And Joseph McCarthy was just as bad as Lavrentiy Beria... Ergo, America is just as bad — nay, worse than Russia...

        • by jklovanc (1603149)

          You need to learn a little history [wikipedia.org] before you start comparing historic figures.

          On 5 March 1940, after the Gestapo–NKVD Third Conference was held in Zakopane, Beria sent a note (no. 794/B) to Stalin in which he stated that the Polish prisoners of war kept at camps and prisons in western Belarus and Ukraine were enemies of the Soviet Union, and recommended their execution. Most of them were military officers, but there were also intelligentsia, doctors, and priests for a total of over 22,000. With Stalin's approval, Beria's NKVD murdered them in the Katyn massacre.

          In 1944, as the Germans were driven from Soviet soil, Beria was in charge of dealing with the various ethnic minorities accused of anti-sovietism and/or collaboration with the invaders, including the Chechens, the Ingush, the Crimean Tatars, the Pontic Greeks and the Volga Germans. All these groups were deported to Soviet Central Asia

          I do not see any references to McCarthy having thousands of people slaughtered [wikipedia.org] and deporting entire cultures to gulags? While McCarthyism was bad it was nowhere near as bad as what happened in Russia.

          • by mi (197448)

            I do not see any references to McCarthy having thousands of people slaughtered

            The depth and breadth of your historical knowledge is rivaled only by your inability to detect sarcasm.

            That said, I hardly blame you — American's proclivity for equating their government's minor transgressions with the genuine evils of foreign regimes is as well known as it is unfortunate.

      • That doesn't make it right. I'd rather live in the US with our freedoms and if there are people living here that really find it so oppresive they should take every opportunity afforded them to move to some other utopia. I'm a libertarian and while I find our government too big and overreaching, at the end of the day I'm not denied my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Is that really so strange? In Italy we have the same law and it is purported as something good and beneficial to public order!!

      • It isn't strange for Italy at all. Their whole justice/politician system is so corrupt and jacked up that it seems perfectly in line with Russia's.
        • by Maritz (1829006)
          I hope you're not suggesting they should have released those scientists who didn't predict an earthquake.
      • by pla (258480)
        Is that really so strange? In Italy we have the same law and it is purported as something good and beneficial to public order!!

        Somehow, I don't really think you'll get very far trying to use the Italian legal system as a role model for "good and beneficial" these days.

        Now, if only they could have found a way to pin the L'aquil earthquake on Knox' Satanic orgies, well, then we could talk. But as it stands, they just look silly.
    • by Virtucon (127420)

      I wouldn't call it a slide, more like a drop but then again they weren't that far away from it to begin with so the landing won't be too hard.

    • by BasilBrush (643681) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @01:04PM (#46941301)

      So often what happened in "Communist Russia" was used as an argument that communism was flawed.

      Well now we've seen Russia as:

      1) An Imperial State up to and including the reign of Tzar Nicholas II.
      2) A communist state.
      3) A capitalist democracy.

      And in all cases it's been a repressive state. So maybe that wasn't anything to do with communism after all and was more to do with Russian culture.

    • Our government does not have higher moral in this regard. They want the same thing. [washingtonexaminer.com] They are fortunately just a tiny bit less capable of pulling off what Putin can pull off.
      • The US is more capable but we have a long history of voting out that which we don't like. So is your day to day life really changing? Black helicopters. Black suited men at the hipster coffee shop checking you out?

  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @10:57AM (#46939843)
    Here in America, we have it much easier. The NSA does all that recordkeeping for us.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jbmartin6 (1232050)
      In Soviet Russia, your blog posts YOU!
    • by jittles (1613415)

      Here in America, we have it much easier. The NSA does all that recordkeeping for us.

      The NSA is doing all that record keeping for Russia also. They've just decided its cheaper to do in house than to outsource that labor to an NSA mole. That's the real reason behind this law.

    • I was going to say:

      "In Soviet Russia, government silences you.
      In America, oh wait, they do same thing!"

  • by nimbius (983462) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @11:07AM (#46939953) Homepage
    Here in america we have journalistic freedom of speech. If you oppose US foreign policy or help expose secret illegal government programs we find it to be patriotic and sacrosanct. Moxie Marlinspike once helped a foreign journalist expose illegal american programs and he certainly wasnt ever targeted for random detention in airports because that would be unamerican. We never secretly spied on the New York Times when they reported on the NSA's illegal activities either, because thats not what america stands for. Heck, we once had a famous American blogger named Anwar al-Awlaki who had a really controversial opinion of the american government but did we use a robotic drone to kill him and his son with a missile while he was in Yemen? of course not.
    • by Threni (635302)

      " You could let 1% of the people have all the nation's wealth. You could help your rich friends get richer by cutting their taxes. And bailing them out when they gamble and lose. You could ignore the needs of the poor for health care and education. Your media would appear free, but would secretly be controlled by one person and his family. You could wiretap phones. You could torture foreign prisoners. You could have rigged elections. You could lie about why you go to war. You could fill your prisons with on

    • Old Russian joke:

      American: foolish Russian. Because of my first amendment rights, I can stand in front of the White House and criticize the US president.

      Russian: What are you talking about? I can do that too!

    • Ahh good! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @12:35PM (#46940911)

      I was worried for a minute that there might be a discussion about a country other than the US on Slashdot. However no need to fear, the egocentric dipstick brigade is on it, making sure to try and steer any and all discussion back to America. I mean we can't possibly want to talk about the rest of the world, nobody is from there, nobody cares what happens. Instead let's make sure to focus any and all discussion on America. That's the only way!

      Seriously, knock it the fuck off. There is a wider world out there, and some of that world visits Slashdot. They might be interested in some stories about thing other than the US. Heck, for that matter people in the US might be interested in stories about the rest of the world since it is all interconnected.

      I get really tired of the ego brigade on /. that has to try and steer every single conversation back to the US. Story about Russia? Talk about how the US is worse and then rail on about that. Story about Canada? Talk about how it would be if the US did it and then rail on about that. No matter what the story, move the discussion back to the US.

      Just stop it. If there's a topic about Russia, well let's talk about that. If that doesn't interest you, kindly keep your silence so that people can talk about it. If the NSA spying interests you, then comment in those discussions, of which there are many.

      Slashdot is an American site and thus American centric in its reporting but it is not US exclusive. Stop trying to make it that way. Your ego can deal with something not being about the US once and awhile.

    • He was a senior recruiter for Al Queda and actively involved in terrorist plots against the US and actively making propaganda for an organization at war with the United States. Our only mistake is that we didn't strip of his citizenship when he was caught by Yemen participating in an Al Queda plot to kidnap the US military attache. He was at large for 4 years, if he felt he was wrongly accused why not get a lawyer and arrange to turn himself in. Its not like he couldnt call the FBI anytime he wanted an arra

  • 'How is it, then, that the Russians have songs?'

    -- Nietzsche

  • by quietwalker (969769) <pdughi@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @11:23AM (#46940137)

    In the US, free speech is a blacklist-based phenomenon. There's a few things that are illegal to say - like 'Fire' in the theater - for example. If it's not listed, it's probably fair game, and you can't be jailed for it. Thus; westboro baptists and illinois nazis.

    In many places in the world, it seems like the definition of free speech refers to the fact that there's a government-approved whitelist - here are the things you are allowed to talk about/say, anything not on the list are disallowed and legal offenses. Anything that's not explicitly on the list (and often times, even if it is) is subject to prosecutions. Heck, it's standard in these places to claim that opposing political parties are, by their language alone, seditionists, and have them locked up. In part, this is why there's outrage against the US that we allow hate speech and open protest; in other countries, that requires a mandate by the government, explicit approval.

    Even in western, supposedly enlightened countries, there are onerous restrictions; check out slander laws in England, Germany's stance on anything Nazi-related, or France's many, many restrictions - for example, it's illegal to criticize a public employee (though I have no idea if it's actually enforced).

    Calling this 'free speech' is like calling tax laws in the US 'voluntary taxes'.

    What we're describing here is not a "tightening grip on free speech". It's just "additional regulations" on a locked down system where participating is the exception, not the rule. The only thing free about it is that one is "free" to follow all the rules, or shut up.

    • by devent (1627873)

      Free speech is the right to voice your opinion, and not to induce panic and harm people. There are no white/black lists, each country have just different understanding of what is covered by free speech rights. If you shout "Fire" in a theatre where is no fire, it is not free speech, but you want to harm people. You want that people panic and rush out of the theatre. How is that free speech? Likewise, slander is not free speech because you want to harm people. Your rights end where it starts to infringe on o

  • Edward Snowden will leak everything from Russia soon
  • Russia is simply USA's future. Prepare!
  • Meet the new Stalin, same as the old Stalin.
    • by guacamole (24270)

      You don't know what you're talking about. Putin has been in the office of President of Russia or Prime minister for over 15 years. Is he authoritarian? yes. But next Stalin? Please.

      By the time Stalin completed his first 15 years as the leader of Soviet communist party, he already managed to murder millions of Soviet people. Stalin's great purge of 1937, resulted in the murder of over 600,000 people while millions of people starved to their deaths in the Holodomor.

  • by retroworks (652802) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @11:49AM (#46940457) Homepage Journal

    Putin remains very "popular". Hitler was "popular". 97% of people don't really need or use their freedom of speech to an extent that it threatens the establishment.

    On a hopeful note, historically, Hitler's tightening control produced "brain drain" among his most talented scientists and engineers. Societies which resort to these kinds of controls usually fail to keep apace with modernization. It's the fallacy of "surgery of thuggery". When totalitarians intend to surgically intimidate just a few vocal intelligencia, their "tools" or administrative enforcers (gestapo) are too clumsy and over-reach, intimidating brilliant people in unintended manners. This same thing happens in the USA business regulatory environment, if a state government gives too much authority to its regulators, businesses move elsewhere.

    • by guacamole (24270)

      And why do you compare Putin with Hitler? Why does every authoritarian leader draw comparisons with Hitler?

      Hitler rounded up millions of "undesirables", such as Jews, communists, and prisoners of war in concentration camps and had them murdered or starved to death. What was the figure, 10-12million people? He wrote that hideous book called Mein Kampf which was the manifest for everything he was going to do. I don't see any parallels with Putin here.

    • Russia will give us Internet pharmacy's and ugly porn.

  • I'm so glad that some countries have the courage to deal with this internet thing properly. I mean really folks, we can't have people running around spouting their ideas, disrupting the natural order of society. It's about time some one took affirmative action against this abomination that is the internet. The though of ordinary people saying what they want, doing what they want, making what they want, and OMG sharing what they want - It's just crazy! The internet needs people with a higher purpose to con
  • Say you have 100 different blogs with different names, different usernames for the admin, slightly different looks etc. but they all conveniently re-blog the same content. Next, you have a domain name that points to a load-balancing server which hosts no web content, but redirect the traffic so that none of these blogs hit the control quota. If one approaches the quota, the load-balancer will detect it and shut that particular blog down. A single-source DoS attack won't work against this system because that

  • Every foreign search engine, blogging platform, or other covered entity just blocks all Russian originated IPs. Homegrown solutions may spring up to replace them, but the hassle ought to at least take this from "quietly" to "amid widespread condemnation and protest from Russians". Plus, who wants to be complicit in this kind of stupid BS?
  • where EULAs are now law, and most major social networks require you to post your full name, as per EULA

    This is a scary policy that is following the west.
  • I have a client that we're going to be getting some software for - not a major purchase, none of the alternatives being considered are even over $300. Of the two leading options, one is produced by a Russian firm, and that alone is making me less likely to choose it.

    Admittedly in this case there aren't any major differences in functionality, and we may end up with the Russian one after all if testing shows its interface is easier to use/train on, but it's the first time I recall actually looking into and co
  • "No, of course I don't have 3000 visitors a day! My site is automatically limited to 2500. It's funny though, the first 250 visitors every day take my posts and repost them on their sites. But that's their responsibility, not mine... but since my site has passed it's daily quota, here's links to sites with 'similar content'..."

    Seriously. This is a stupid law.

    We can easily just stop using blog 'websites', and instead post to public newsgroups. Or use RSS & other syndication & mirror tools.

  • What is to stop someone from creating a blog and posting from various public hotspots? From using VPS's and a whole whack of other tools. As much as the State likes to play the Almighty Knower Of All, there are still plenty of ways you can evade them. Think of it as the Samizdat of our day. If you have purpose and some trustworthy people, you can speak truth to power.
  • After the US government doing so many things to encourage people to host services outside of America, Russia returns the favor. This could result in greater cooperation between the two peoples, as we can now cross-serve either other. You host our pirate search engines, we'll host your politics blog.

  • by Diamonddavej (851495) on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @01:58PM (#46941873)

    The UK also introduced regulation of larger commercial blogs that publish "news type" material, part of the recommendations of the Leveson enquiry into press standards. Large blogs have to sign up to a press regulator, if not they get fined. It does not matter where the Blog's servers are located, if someone downloads content in the UK, it is published it in the UK and they can be held responsible ("Downloading here can count as publication in the law.").

    Links:
    "Press regulation deal sparks fears of high libel fines for bloggers - Websites could have to pay exemplary damages if they don't sign up to new regulator, claim opponents of Leveson deal [theguardian.com] "

    BBC News: Will websites/blogs etc be covered? [bbc.com]

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