Russia to censor the internet

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The Russian Parliament has voted in favour of a Bill that will see illegal sites blacklisted.

A banner waved in protest of Russia's presidential elections, December 2011.
(Credit: CBS News video; screenshot by Jonathan Skillings/CNET)

Similar to Australia's ACMA blacklist, the Bill will see material deemed illegal by the Russian Government blocked from the internet. This includes pornographic materials; material that promotes suicide, drug use or child abuse; and any other "extremist" content.

The lower Russian House of Parliament, the State Duma, and the Russian courts will reserve the right to add websites to the list.

The approval comes just days after the Russian-language Wikipedia, LiveJournal and other websites blacked out in protest of the Bill.

But according to Russian news service Ria Novosti, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that not everything should be free.

"The basic principle is that the internet should be free," he said, before the Bill's hearing. "But it should also observe people's basic rights and laws, including the right to information, but also the right to protection from harmful content."

The Bill has yet to enter upper house, but the regulation could be in effect by January 2013.

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