Target: President Vladimir Putin
Goal: To end internet censorship in Russia by revoking the internet blacklist law
Much like the internet censorship in China, Russia has now passed an internet blacklist law which will allow sites that are ‘harmful to children’ to be taken down off the internet without a trial. If the website itself cannot be shut down, authorities can force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and web hosting companies to block access to the website. Sign this petition and argue for the freedom of information and an end to internet censorship in Russia.
Censorship in China has been a hot-button issue for years, becoming relevant again in 2010 when China began heavily dictating how Chinese users could search Google (according to the NY Times, preventing searches for the American word “freedom”).
Now, Russia has amended their Act for Information and passed an internet blacklist law, signed by President Putin and approved by both houses of Russian Parliament. The government can now monitor what information is available to the public by yielding the power and the ability to shut down or block any site with information in disagreement with Russian political views.
This law allows for any site that is deemed ‘harmful to children’ to be blocked or shut down. What dictates whether a site is harmful to children? Nothing. There is no trial, only one man abusing his power and attempting to control the flow of information.
There is no safe way to censor information, especially a method such as this without judicial checks and balances. Parents should be shielding children from inappropriate internet content, not the government. This law will lead to an abuse of power and censorship, just as it has in China. Sign this petition and urge Russia to revoke the internet blacklist law.
Dear President Vladimir Putin,
Please revoke the internet blacklist law amendment to the Act of Information. This law is utterly detestable as it paves the way for an abuse of power in that any website may be forced to shutdown or be blocked by the ISP or hosting company if deemed to be promoting information that is harmful to children.
There is no trial to decide what information is harmful, no checks on the system to ensure that there is no abuse of power, only government overreach. You may as well shut down all television and newspapers in your country.
Information should be free and uncensored. It is not for the government to decide what children should see or not see, that is for parents to dictate. The government, through this law, is grotesquely using children as an excuse to overreach into the lives of its citizens. Please revoke the internet blacklist law and end internet censorship in Russia.
[Your Name Here]
-Photo credit: Sasha Ermolenko via Flickr