Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Thousands of Russians protest against internet restrictions

Thousands of people demonstrated Sunday in central Moscow to demand internet freedom in Russia Thousands of people demonstrated Sunday in central Moscow to demand internet freedom in RussiaMore
Katie Ramirez | 12 March, 2019, 19:44

Following the passing of bills illegalising the broadcast of "fake" and "disrespectful" news on Thursday, Putin's internet sovereignty bill mandates that internet data runs through a state-controlled Domain Name System.

In Moscow today, thousands will protest Russian President Vladamir Putin's internet sovereignty bill that is now before the lower house of the Russian Federal Assembly.

Some protesters chanted slogans such as "hands off the internet" and "no to isolation" while others gave speeches on a large stage.

However, campaigners revealed it was in efforts to raise censorship and stifle dissent.

Approximately fifteen thousand people rallied in Moscow today in a protest against government attempts to censor the internet.

The rally gathered around 15,300 people, according to White Counter, an NGO that counts participants at rallies.

The police detained several people, including RFE/RL's Russian Service correspondent Andrei Kiselyov.

More news: Woman forces plane to turn around after leaving baby at airport

One protester told Reuters news agency: "If we do nothing it will get worse", adding, "The authorities will keep following their own way and the point of no return will be passed". Police put the figure at 6,500. Police have not announced any detentions.

The protests in Moscow, the southern city of Voronezh and Khabarovsk in the far east had all been officially authorized. An unauthorised protest took place in St. Petersburg.

A message in Russian on its official account said that the bill on internet centralisation aims to "cut off Russia from the rest of the world, after which they can block foreign social networks and messengers".

The proposed measure also would create a division in Russia's agency that regulates communications to oversee traffic control and routing.

Smaller events against the Sovereign Internet bill were also carried out in other Russian cities on Sunday. Last week the country's lower house passed the bill.

In 2014, the Russian parliament passed a law forcing bloggers with more than 3,000 daily viewers to register as a media organization, bringing them under state regulation.

Thousands of people in Russian Federation have demonstrated against plans to suggest stricter rules on the internet.

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