Safe Internet League to filter out sectarian propaganda from Russian Internet


‘We have improved the Safe Internet League’s Web Filter service to now filter out propaganda of destructive sects, too,’ Safe Internet League CEO Dennis Davydov announced at last Wednesday’s press conference. Filtering will be conducted by comparing the material against a so-called Destructive sects in the Russian Internet Chart, a predefined list containing some 1 700 web sites, social network communities, Internet conferences, etc.

A service available to anyone at zero cost by signing in at the Safe Internet League’s official web site, its free Web Filter works on all devices (desktop PC, laptop, tablets, and phones) by blocking access to web pages containing violent or pornographic, illegal drugs, suicide, obscene language — and now destructive sects — material.

‘Our society is prone to get influenced by destructive sects. This is due to the Russian people’s heightened inclination toward the mystical and the occult, which, in turn, can be explained by its anxieties, and the desire to relieve them by once again finding its bearings,’ head of St. Irenaeus Centre for Religious Studies and Justice Ministry’s Government Religious Expert Analysis Council Chairman Aleksandr Dvorkin told the conference. ‘Over the last years we have seen destructive sects rapidly increasing their online presence. These are not merely their virtual offices, these are recruitment sites.’

The children are especially prone to such recruitment. ‘Due to their lack of critical thinking skills, their credulity, children are incapable of recognising dangerous information, they easily open up their psyche to outside interference and influence’, explained destructive sect expert Rostislav Prokopshin from the Moscow City University of Psychology and Pedagogics. There are web sites run by destructive cults, aimed specifically at children — designed as graphic novels, funny pictures, or cartoons. That is why it is especially important to shield children from such organisations online.

Filtering out online content planted by destructive sects will be done by comparing the data against the Destructive sects in the Russian Internet Chart. ‘Our team of experts have created a list of destructive religious or para-religious organisations, or sects,’ said Mr Davydov. ‘They have found the nodes through which the content they generate is being disseminated. This resulted in a Destructive sects in the Russian Internet Chart, containing some 1 700 web sites, social network communities, Internet conferences, etc. that users of our free Web Filter service would have their access blocked to.’

As certified by Aleksandr Korelov of the Moscow Regional Chamber of Lawyers, voluntary use of the Web Filter is 100% legal and cannot be interpreted as equalling a breach of freedom of speech or dissemination of religious information, because it is used to prevent ‘unsanctioned influence on an individual’s personality perpetrated to an undisclosed end, inculcating a value system contravening the state-legal framework of the Russian Federation.’