Wednesday, February 13, 2013

YouTube Sues Russian Consumer Rights Agency

YouTube LLC on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor over a controversial Russian content-restricting law, internet company Google’s video sharing unit said. The law on protection of children from harmful information that came into force late last year authorizes regulators to block access to data deemed “harmful to the health and development” of children through promotion of suicide, pornography and drugs. Critics claim the law might be used as an internet censorship means, but the authorities dismiss the claims. The lawsuit, filed in a Moscow court Monday, is against Rospotrebnadzor’s decision to block access to a “video lesson on how to cut veins.” The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday quoted Google as saying in an emailed statement: “In this case, we have appealed the decision of the Russian consumer watchdog because we do not believe that the goal of the law was to limit access to videos that are clearly intended to entertain viewers.” Rospotrebnadzor chief Gennady Onishchenko said Tuesday his organization had no information on the lawsuit yet. YouTube was briefly put on a blacklist of websites with harmful content ( in November 2012. Failure to remove what media and communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said were “suicide promotion” materials would have led to YouTube’s blocking across Russia.

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