26 January 2021, 13:49
Duma committee approves extrajudicial blocking of websites for justification of extremism
Moscow, January 26, Interfax - The State Duma Committee on Information Policy recommended on Tuesday that a bill allowing the extrajudicial blocking of information which either justifies or excuses extremist or terrorist activity be submitted for its first reading.
The bill drafted by a group of authors was presented to the State Duma in July 2020.
The document broadens the range of grounds for the extrajudicial blocking of websites by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor): it will also be possible to block websites on the orders of the prosecutor general or his deputies.
Under the present Information Act, the Prosecutor General's Office can only initiate such blocking without a court if the website contains explicit calls for extremism, terrorism, or mass disturbances. Now, deputies have proposed allowing such blocking if the website contains "information of an extremist or terrorist nature," i.e., substantiates or justifies extremism or terrorism.
The initiative suggests amending Article 15.3 of the Federal Law "On Information, Information Technologies, and Protection of Information."
As an author of the bill, head of the State Duma Security and Anti-Corruption Committee Vasily Piskaryov said earlier, "The bill aims not only to increase the security of the informational space, but also to prevent the radicalization of minors."
Piskaryov was referencing information from the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, according to which, 445 perpetrators of extremist crimes were detected in 2019. Over half of them, 230, were young people aged from 14 to 29, including 42 minors aged from 14 to 17.