Russia briefly bans YouTube 'by mistake'

Nov 21, 2012
The YouTube homepage. Web-surfing Russians endured a brief scare Wednesday that the authorities had blocked YouTube after the video-sharing website appeared on a list of banned addresses, in what officials later called a "technical mistake".

Web-surfing Russians endured a brief scare Wednesday that the authorities had blocked YouTube after the video-sharing website appeared on a list of banned addresses, in what officials later called a "technical mistake".

The new registry of blacklisted websites introduced this month showed the website youtube.com as having been added there Wednesday by Russia's and remained on it for several minutes.

After a media furore swiftly ensued, the agency's head Gennady Onishchenko told Russian news agencies that the intention was to ban 22 specific videos, rather than the whole service, notably ones giving instructions on how to commit suicide.

The spokesman for communications ministry's watchdog responsible for the website registry Vladimir Pikov told AFP that the incident a "technical mistake", without giving further explanations.

Russians have been worried about an impending Internet crackdown ever since the hasty recent passage of a law which introduced the concept of the blacklist.

Supporters said it was necessary for blocking harmful content, including suicide manuals, child pornography, and information on , but critics saw it as yet another measure to suppress free speech following President 's election to a historic third term in May.

The legislation was protested by many global websites, including Russian search engine and Wikipedia, who warned that the mechanism behind the blacklist could be used for a blanket shutdown of popular social networks.

Explore further: Hackers trick way into ICANN computers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Russia puts first sites on new Internet blacklist

Nov 01, 2012

Russia on Thursday put into force a new law on the Internet that allows the government to block websites with banned content, prompting fears that it will be used to suppress free speech.

Russia could block YouTube over anti-Islam film

Sep 18, 2012

A controversial new Russian media law could be used to block YouTube in the country over postings of the anti-Islam film that has sparked deadly rioting, the communications minister warned Tuesday.

New Russia internet law deemed censorship by critics

Jul 30, 2012

A new law seeking to protect minors from internet sites with harmful content comes into force in Russia on Monday amid criticism that it is a veiled move to increase censorship in the country.

Recommended for you

Spain: Google News vanishes amid 'Google Tax' spat

Dec 16, 2014

Google on Tuesday followed through with a pledge to shut down Google News in Spain in reaction to a Spanish law requiring news publishers to receive payment for content even if they are willing to give it away.

Brazil: Google fined in Petrobras probe

Dec 15, 2014

A Brazilian court says it has fined Google around $200,000 for refusing to intercept emails needed in a corruption investigation at state-run oil company Petrobras.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.