Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM)
Russian Federation


17A11 Jiang Wanyan

Cite as

Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee (SOCHUM) Russian Federation Topic A: A Magna Carta for the Internet Topic B: The Repatriation of Cultural Property

Internet freedom in Russia has deteriorated steadily over the past few years with Internet censorship in the Russian Federation being enforced. The blacklist was originally introduced to block sites that contain materials advocating drug abuse and production, suicide, and child pornography. Later, the law was amended to allow the blockage of sites containing materials that advocate extremism or any other content subject to a gag order. These regulations have been frequently abused to block criticism of the federal government or local administration, showing how the law has deviated from its initial commendable intent of protecting minors and children from harmful content and is increasingly being used as a political tool by parties. Critics are describing the data base as a blacklist. This new law is controversial, with critics expressing concern that the blacklist threatens to become "an instrument to limit freedom of expression and impose widespread censorship on the Internet."

However, the Russian government has dictated that the new law on censorship helps improve security and prevent criminal behavior on the internet, such as terrorism. In June 2014, the president signed new amendments to the criminal code that increased penalties for disseminating materials online related to “extremism,” setting prison terms of up to five years, as well as increasing penalties for “inciting hatred” to terms of up to six years. Other amendments criminalized the financing...