As previously reported, an American democratic human Rights group, Freedom House, recently published a report entitled Freedom on the Net 2012 which pays much attention to the situation with "freedom" in Russia. On April 26, Freedom House finally published the full text of the report on its website, although some links were still not actuated.
In our earlier coverage, we used mainstream Western media reports, which, as usual, contain not much to understand, but a lot for potential misunderstanding.
A part of the report relating to the non-freedom on the Internet in Russia is called Russia and can be viewed at this link. It would be hardly interesting for non-Democrats to waste time to read this long text. All mentioned cases of no freedom in Russia are related, according to the Democratic tradition, only and exclusively to persecutions (?) of Democrats in Russia.
It is worth mentioning that Russia's independent, non-Democratic, sources, listed about 7,000 cases of political persecutions by the KGB inside Russia in 2010, and only 25 cases among them were directed against Russia's Democrats who are actively supported by the West.
The Kavkaz Center is mentioned only once in the Freedom House report, in a paragraph in a large section Limits on Content. We present this paragraph for your attention:
- "Although attempts to establish a comprehensive, centralized filtering system in Russia have been abandoned, content is most frequently removed and blocked on the ISP level if it violates Russia's laws against "extremism".
The procedure for identifying extremist materials is nontransparent, leaving room for politically-motivated content removal [As Dmitri Solovyev's case showed, the results may vary depending on the institution where the extremism check was performed. See, Alexey Sidorenko, "Russia: Prosecution Against Opposition Blogger Stopped", Global Voices, January 28, 2010]. Providers are punished for hosting or not blocking materials that are proscribed in a list on the Ministry of Justice's website [Two such cases occurred in the Kirov and Khanty-Mansiisk regions. See, Alexey Sidorenko, "Russia: Hosting Providers Sued for Refusal to Block Web Sites", Global Voices, May 13, 2010; Provider Obliged to Filter Extremist Sites], Regnum, February 24, 2010]. The list is updated on a monthly basis and included 1,066 items as of January 2012 (compared to 748 items in January 2011) [Ministry of Justice, "Federal List of Extremist Materials", accessed April 1, 2012].
Officially banned sites include Kavkazcenter.com (a radical terrorist and separatist website), Tawba.info (a site dedicated to Tatar), and radical leftist Limonka.nbp-info.ru, among others [These websites were included in the latest update of the Federal list of extremist materials].
In 2011, a Moscow prosecutor tried to add LiveJournal.com (LiveJournal.com is a portal, which is currently controlled by the FSB - KC) to the extremist list in response to a blog post created by user "nb_licantrop", [The official letter from the Prosecutor's office proposing to block LiveJournal was published by LiveJournal blogger "nb-licantrop" on February 22, 2011] but the claim was never realized. Nonpolitical reasons for content removal have also been reported, with most involving child pornography and file-sharing services that violate copyright law".
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It is to be noted from our part that Democrats corrupted in the second half of the 20th century many concepts and converted them into abusive words. These concepts are criminalized by them, although they were earlier neutral or even laudable.
Therefore, the designation of the Kavkaz Center as a "radical terrorist site" has a negative connotation exclusively for a Democratic ear. For all the others, especially in the conditions of Russia, it is a praise (and as the KC often writes, Democracy reigns in Russia, a KGB kind of Democracy, but still a Democracy).
Department of Monitoring