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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

More Than 180 Websites Put on Internet Blacklist in First Week

TheMass Media Inspection Service banned more than 180 websites after receiving aflood ofcomplaints inthe first three days new restrictions were inforce, theservice’s head said Friday.

Alexander Zharov told journalists inNovosibirsk that over the course ofthree days, more than 6,000 complaints had been submitted about websites allegedly containing content that could be harmful tochildren, including child pornography, material encouraging suicide, andinformation ondrug production anddistribution, Interfax reported.

Individuals, businesses, organizations andgovernment bodies can submit requests that the agencyreview a given website and place it on a blacklist.

Thelist was created onNov. 1 bylegislation allowing restriction ofcontent that the government deems illegal or harmful tochildren.

Free-speech advocates have voiced concern that thelaw’s current wording makes it possible forentire websites tobe shut down if one page on the site contains offending material.

Zharov said Internet providers have actively responded tonotifications of“negative information” onpages they host. He said thecountry’s largest social network, VKontakte, had acted particularly quickly intaking down restricted content.

Theblacklist is not publicly available. Zharov did not specify which Web pages had been blocked so far.

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