Thursday, March 6, 2014

Russian Court Bans Wikipedia, Yandex

A regional court in Russia’s Far East ordered an Internet service provider to block 17 websites for extremist content on Wednesday, including a Wikipedia article on Adolf Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto “Mein Kampf.” A representative of Khabarovsk Central Court told RIA Novosti that the regional branch of the Rostelecom Internet company must restrict access by March 10 to the list of sites alleged to contain extremist content. The restrictions would apply to individual links on sites, including Wikipedia and the popular Russian search engine Yandex and the Kinopoisk film site. A copy of the court’s judgment dated February 10 was uploaded on the Wikimedia foundation’s website and listed the webpages, which included the Russian-language Wikipedia page on “Mein Kampf.” As of Wednesday afternoon, a notice in the text of the article said the court had restricted access to the page “due to the fact that this article earlier had a link to the text of ‘Mein Kampf.’” The court ordered Rostelecom to restrict access to the websites by means of an IP address filter, which could potentially block many other pages hosted by the same web server. A representative of Rostelecom told RIA Novosti that the company plans to appeal the decision, since all of the offending materials have since been removed.

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