Wikipedia found success with its 24-hour blackout in January to protest U.S. anti-piracy legislation, so it's trying the same technique in Russia where a bill promoted as a curb on child pornography threatens to create an Internet blacklist. As far as attracting attention to the legislation goes, Wikipedia's protest (that's it's homepage, translated, above) is working. As The Associated Press reports, "Three of the top Twitter hash tags in Russia on Tuesday were 'RuWikiBlackout,' 'Wikipedia,' and 'Law No. 89417-6,' all of which refer to the legislation." But as with SOPA and PIPA in the U.S., the bill, one of the first to control content on Russia's largely unregulated Internet, enjoys wide support in the legislature, where "all four party factions in the State Duma" are for it, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
The bill (read the full text here translated from Russian) would create a blacklist of the websites the Russian government says support things like child pornography and extremism, but critics say it gives the government too free a hand in shutting down websites it disagrees with for any number of reasons. So on Tuesday, when the Russian legislature is to review the bill, Wikipedia is letting its opposition be known by going dark. In the United States, the same protest, done in concert with Google, Reddit, Wired, and other sites, moved Congress to put SOPA and PIPA on hold in just two days. It's gotten the Russian public's attention, but so far lawmakers are still firmly in support of the bill, RIA Novosti notes.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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