Anton Nosik: ‘It’s finally happened. A court judgment has been issued in Russia prohibiting not simply YouTube or some other site, but the Internet in its entirety. And all because of five files that can be found there...’
The well-known internet expert, Anton Nosik, reports in his blog:
In the name of the Russian Federation the Central District Court of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Khabarovsk Region, consisting of presiding judge Anna Mikhailovna Eisenberg, with the participation of Prosecutor A. A. Khaustova and court secretary E. V. Tereshkina, has ruled that access to five websites should be restricted, namely:
According to the ruling, access would be closed ‘by means of adding to the border router filtering rules the IP-addresses of the listed sites.’ The duty to filter is placed on the defendant, the local internet provider ROSNET. The same court also placed on this provider the responsibility for the content of all the listed sites, remarking with great thoughtfulness:
The arguments of the representative of the defendant, A. V. Ermakova, that, in this case, their business cannot be held responsible for the content of sites with regard to which their role is only to provide access, and control over the content of the sites is not foreseen by the contract and licence, cannot be accepted by the court on the grounds that they contradict the above legal norms. [Articles 12 and 56 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation]
The deadline for the appeal to Khabarovsk Regional Court expired on 26 July 2010. It is not known whether the defendant tried to appeal the decision of Judge Eisenberg or not.
It remains to be hoped that this is just one particular amusing legal case which will not have any practical consequences for the tens of millions of internet users in Russia (including the clients of ROSNET, with regard to whom the court omitted to prohibit the use of search engines or proxy-servers). But, alas, in so far as the level of the court’s incompetence is concerned, the verdict of Judge Eisenberg is typical for all domestic Russian legal proceedings that deal with the internet.
The full text of the court decision can be found here (RAR).
The page of the case in the Automated State System of court reporting, Justice, is here.
internet.zip 1.3 MB