Russian Police Can Take Down Websites Without a Court Order

If the Russian police don't like a website hosted within its boundaries, that website is going down. Beginning today, no court order will be necessary to compel Internet service providers to shut down a site that displeases the administration. It's a sad day for the ideal of net freedom in Russia.

Starting March 1, 2011, new law "On Police" [RUS] grants Russian police the right to order the heads of hosting companies the obligatory commands to terminate the activity of those Internet-resources that infringe Russian or International law or endanger individual or public security. Previously, police needed a court order to close the website. Now, the legal framework gives much more freedom for content removal at Russia-based hosting platforms.

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