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Russian Duma passes controversial internet law

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Russian Duma passes controversial internet law


Russian politicians have taken another step towards approving a new law on the internet which its supporters say will protect children, and its critics argue opens the door to censorship.

The Duma has finished voting through amendments to the law, which were passed unanimously.

The law seeks to control sites containing paedophilia, promoting drugs or advising on suicide.

Opponents include Russia’s main search engine Yandex. On Wednesday its slogan “you can find everything” had the word “everything” crossed out.

Critics fear censorship because who will decide whether material is suitable has not been specified.

Its supporters in parliament disagree. Elena Mizulina, who chairs the Just Russia party’s family committee, said:
“We don’t need such information on the internet, on sites which are accessible to everyone parents can’t control it. We have so many demands from parents and parents’ associations, a hundred times more than those who’re supporting Wikipedia.”

The online encyclopaedia’s Russian website staged a 24-hour blackout on Tuesday in protest at the law, instead publishing the words “imagine a world without free knowledge”.

The bill now goes to the upper house of parliament for approval and if passed, to President Putin for ratification.

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