Internet users in Russia are becoming increasingly impatient with every passing day. Russia’s internet watchdog Rozcomnadzor apparently is going overboard and has started to block some of the innocent websites. Every week, net users in Russia see scores of new websites getting added to the list of blocked sites and the number continues to grow each week. Pirate websites, anonymous and proxy services, inappropriate websites – all fall under the radar of Rozcomnadzor and face strict action, including permanent blocking. The internet watchdog, however, got a taste of its own medicine when protesters physically blocked access to its headquarters.
Protesters block HQ of Russian web watchdog Rozcomnadzor
Frustrated internet users and activists from ‘Civil Petersburg’ and ‘Open Russia’ movements decided to give Rozcomnadzor a taste of its own medicine by blocking the entrance to its offices. The activists gathered outside the entrance and built a barricade constructed from boxes labeled ‘Blocked Citizens of Russia’.
Netizens in Russia are miffed with the fact that Rozcomnadzor has gone overboard and blocked access to some of the country’s largest sites – Yandex.ru, Google.ru and the popular Telegram messaging app. Although the watchdog – which later removed Google.ru from the list of blocked sites – provided explanation as to why it blocked access to Google.ru, netizens are questioning as to why it was blocked in the first place.
Several activists feel that freedom of information is one of the basic values of a society and that it shouldn’t be restricted. Those who try to attack such basic values should be blocked from society, say the activists.
Freedom of information, like freedom of expression, are the basic values of our society. Those who try to attack them, must themselves be ‘blocked’ from society.
After large-scale protests from netizens, it looks like Roskomnadzor has now issued guidelines to ISPs, outlining framework which forces them to think beyond IP address and domain name blocking and asks them to consider using Deep Packet Inspection to ensure innocent websites aren’t affected.