October Internet Freedom Update

Russian ministries ramp up “War on Piracy”

The Ministry of Culture is developing a package of amendments that will force search engines to remove links to pirated content, without trial, as well as significantly expanding the powers of the censoring body Roskomnadzor. The new legislation will oblige all search engines operating in Russia to remove links to pirate sites out of court at the request of copyright holders. It is possible that search engines may have to show sites with legal content in priority, and they may be fined for refusing to remove links to sites with pirated content.

The authorities believe that the simplification of website blocking is necessary, since the mechanism of judicial blocking, which has been in force for more than five years, does not adequately protect the interests of right holders.

It is worth noting that the law prohibiting search engines from issuing links to prohibited sites has already been adopted and even entered into force at the end of September 2018. However, the copyright lobby apparently does not gain enough power from this. Otherwise it is difficult to explain the desire to create such a pile of laws, essentially duplicating each other.

(Translated from https://roskomsvoboda.org/42433/)


St. Petersburg to fund non-profits censoring dangerous information

The Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov approved a bill giving financial support to non-profit organizations (NPOs) that are struggling with potentially dangerous information on the internet.

In July this year, the St. Petersburg parliamentarian offered to support NPOs “”protecting children from dangerous information on the Internet.” The Deputy has prepared a bill providing subsidies for such organizations. According to Mr. Teterenko, organizations that oppose online dissemination of information harmful to health and development of children must be maintained.

He said that today the world-wide web is full of dangers for teens: groups for the search term “biker”, the promotion of marginal subcultures, “death cults”, and gambling. In addition, young people due to their inexperience can be too frank in online communication, which is why they risk running into blackmailers, the Deputy notes.

He cites data from the Kaspersky Security Network, according to which, even the inclusion of the “parental control” function often does not prevent teenagers from visiting undesirable resources related to alcohol, tobacco and drugs, using obscene vocabulary and even publishing pornographic content.

At the same time, according to the Deputy, there are organizations in the city that are engaged in educational work, and directly confront communities and users that disseminate unwanted information.

(Translated from https://roskomsvoboda.org/42416/)


Dagestan authorities are handing out smartphones for online denunciations

In Dagestan, local authorities decided to encourage denunciations of online “extremists” by announcing an action, according to which the residents of Dagestan who report the highest number of extremist posts on social networks will receive a smartphone. The first place will get an Apple iPhone SE 32 Gb; the second place, a Xiaomi Redmi 5 32 Gb; and the third place, a Xiaomi Redmi 4A. This was announced in a statement on the Dagestan government counter-extremism website “Hotline”, 112.rdpress.ru. It is on this website that the government receives reports of online extremism from residents.

Informants can share links to posts that violate the legislation of the Russian Federation, which incite hatred on religious or national grounds, and experts will process the requests and transfer them to the law enforcement agencies.

(Translated from https://roskomsvoboda.org/42271/)


Coordinated surveillance in the East

The Council of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) agreed on joint online monitoring of terrorist threats.

The SCO agreed on Thursday in the capital of Kyrgyzstan on monitoring threats of a terrorist nature on the internet, said the Kyrgyzstan anti-terrorism leader Asylbek Kozhabekov. “Special attention is paid to the challenges and threats posed by persons traveling to regions with increased terrorist activity, as well as those returning to the territory of the SCO member states,” he said.

The meeting was attended by delegations of the special services of India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

(Translated from https://roskomsvoboda.org/42475/)


Facebook and Twitter continue to take sides

Facebook’s Purge Of Political Pages Fuels Delusion Of Insurgent Threats To Democracy

Twitter Announcement: RT and Sputnik Advertising


Google surrenders to the Communists

Google Is Handing the Future of the Internet to China


The good side of China’s Great Firewall

AI system recognizes porn through voice recognition

China detains 1,834 suspects in online porn crackdown


China weaponizes the internet for genocidal purposes

“The authorities employ high-tech mass surveillance systems that make use of QR codes, biometrics, artificial intelligence, phone spyware, and big data.”