TOP LEGAL EVENTS OF LAST WEEK
The Kremlin continues its policy of restricting civil liberties and increasing censorship in Russia. The Russian legislature has paid particular attention for distributing information through digital platforms. Bloggers in Russia nowadays are under the government's scrutiny, as they function as uncontrolled media. Even "Wikipedia," which can be edited by users from any country, has been recognized as a "strategic weapon of the enemy."
A bill regulating the blogger’s activities has been submitted to the Ministry of Digital Affairs for evaluation. It involves registering bloggers as media outlets if they receive 5,000 unique page visitors daily. "Currently the bloggers, especially opinion leaders, significantly affect their audience through dissemination of information within digital platforms among a wide range of individuals," according to the explanatory note.
The head of the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation, Valery Fadeev, has called for the closure of "Wikipedia" for Russians. "We need to create an alternative platform and close 'Wikipedia' as soon as possible. That's my position. Again, to be clear: I'm not calling for it to be closed tomorrow, but of course, we need to move towards closing 'Wikipedia,' as it is an ideological, politicized product," said the head of the council. "Wikipedia" has been called the "strategic weapon of the enemy" by the council.
Chinese experts will assist Russia in blocking YouTube. Russia is preparing to fully block the American video-hosting service YouTube in the country by the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2023. The Russian government's attempt to create a domestic equivalent of YouTube – ‘RuTube’ has not succeeded.
Public trials for social media posts continue in Russia. The Tverskoy Court in Moscow has sentenced pensioner Mikhail Simonov to seven years in a general regime colony for posting two comments under someone else's posts on the social network "VKontakte," in which he criticized the Russian authorities and the "special military operation."