Blacklist Expands by 7500 Addresses


7 577 web sites have been put on the official Russian Internet Blacklist in the first seven months of its operations, according to official figures obtained by the Safe Internet League. It is about one sixth of the total number web sites with illegal content reported. Of these, 214 are set to be blocked.

Having come into force in 2012, Federal Law no. 139 provides for filtering and blocking access to web sites found to be hosting information prohibited by laws of the Russian Federation. A web site was created for members of the public to facilitate reporting and blacklisting of illegal content. According to Roskomnadzor, since its launch on November 1, 2012, the web site saw a little over 46 800 complaints of illegal content, a figure quoted by the Safe Internet League. All submissions were first scrutinized to filter junk e-mails, duplicate and false complaints, with offending web sites then analyzed by relevant agencies (encouragement of suicide by Rospotrebnadzor, illegal drugs by Federal Drug Control Service, and child pornography by Roskomnadzor). As a result, 7 577 web sites have been put on the official Russian Internet Blacklist; of these 355 were containing child pornography, 1737 — encouragement to suicide, and 5 485 — illegal distribution of drugs.

«Which means child pornography is a little over 4.6%, encouragement to suicide — 22.6%, and illegal drugs trade — above 71%», explained Safe Internet League CEO Denis Davydov, whose organization provides Roskomnadzor expert assistance in detecting child pornography online. «Which is roughly the same as it was in the first month of the Blacklist’s operation. It means the measures we took were adequate to gradually cleanse the Internet of child pornography. Still, there are ten times more web sites encouraging people to commit suicide or distributing illegal drugs. For them the Internet remains a fertile ground. That is why these are one of the lines of activity we are directing our volunteer illegal content detectives at the Cyberguard at».

It should be noted that putting a web site on the Blacklist does not necessarily mean blocking access to it. It is a signal to warn its hosting providers of the illegal content. Having received the official notification from the Blacklist authorities, they have three days to remove the illegal content, in which case the web site in question gets removed from the Blacklist. At this moment, there are 214 web sites set to be blocked. «As you can see, only a small portion of the web sites found to contain illegal content have to be blocked. Most cases find the owners to be sensible law-abiding citizens who promptly remove the illegal content», concludes Mr Davydov.