inistry of Justice and the Federation Council Entered All Users of Internet in a List of Ideological Saboteurs

inistry of Justice and the Federation Council Entered All Users of Internet in a List of Ideological Saboteurs

The first deputy minister of justice of the Russian Federation Alexander Fedorov considers that "Internet is the main distributor of the most radical and extremist ideas". As "Interfax" reports, he declared it to the members of the federation Council at a session of incorporated committee on national policy and relations of the state and religious associations. According to Fedorov, already 616 extremist editions and materials have been already forbidden, thus since June, 2008 this list increased three times.


Earlier it was informed that Ministry of Justice lobbies new bill which separate points actually grant officials the right to close all disliked sites. It's stated in the document text that Internet providers are obliged to suspend work of sites on a basis of "motivated written decision of one of the heads of the body which is carrying out operatively-search activity or safeguarding the Russian Federation".


Besides, it's proposed in the bill to allow eight state structures to ask providers for "information about users, services rendered by it with use of "Internet" network and also other information necessary for performance of targets assigned to these bodies".


From editorial board: The authorities constantly try to test the society to understand what freedoms it can be deprived of without risk to receive mass protest. Society did not protest much - and it was taken away the right to street protest though article 31 is still present in the constitution. Society did not struggle a lot for elections - and elections turned into a farce where the winner is actually appointed by electoral committee. Society "was disappointed" in mass media and journalists - and independence of mass-media disappeared at once and the journalist from a democracy pillar turned into despised being, kick of the society.


Now the turn of Internet came, its independence from "bodies" disturbed authorities from the very moment of its appearance.


First of all we will note "alternative endowments" of Ministry of Justice and the Federation Council supporting this idiocy (let's note that the majority of initiatives on restriction of freedom proceeds from the Federation Council, not from the State Duma). Internet is not legal body, not mass-media. It is information environment, means of information transmission. The same way officials of Ministry of Justice and senators in epoch prior to Internet could have declared that paper and alphabet is the main distributor of extremist ideas.


Though ideological predecessors of present Ministry of Justice during Soviet period entered print shops and even pulp and paper plants into the list of controlled-access enterprises and took multiplying techniques under control - once even typewriters.

May be it's necessary now to register each computer in the local branch of FSB and to dress providers in epaulets?

However, it's not initiative of the authorities which is surprising - it's just the next and not new, it's rhetoric which is surprising. Authorities feel as the saboteur sent into enemy territory among freely communicating citizens, the territory where spiteful extremist can trap it behind every bush. All cares of the authorities is how to "clean out" this territory, to place posts and observant towers with control-trace zone all way long.

It is absolutely clear that one won't get anywhere with this power. Every time expecting liberalization or democratization from it, you will get to some special structures.

The only thing that's possible to undertake is whenever possible not to get under the Russian jurisdiction. Or, staying willy-nilly in the territory of operation of the Russian law enforcement bodies, to behave in the same way as they do - as the saboteur in the foreign territory where police agent with the gun can sit under each bush. Having entered the territory of RuNet, you already become potential extremist and offender, irrespective of your quite loyal aspirations.

Certainly, it does not promote formation of civil society and system of feedback between society and state. What to do then?

natoly Baranov, editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk


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