Safe Internet League to bring websites advertising prostitutes’ services to court


‘In Russia, all aspects of prostitution are illegal: recruiting into prostitution is a criminal offence, prostitution itself is a civil offence. Advertising prostitutes’ services is likewise illegal. That means, web sites hosting information about such services or encouraging their use are breaking Russian laws,’ says Safe Internet League CEO Denis Davydov. ‘Nevertheless, in the Russian-language Internet sector such web sites are rather numerous. This is unacceptable. The Safe Internet League has prepared the paperwork to take the owners of web sites advertising prostitutes’ services to court. We are going to ask the courts to recognise these materials as illegal and to blacklist the web sites hosting them.’

Currently there are two ways for a web site to be included into the official Russian Internet Blacklist, managed by the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communications (Roskomdanzor): through either an out-of-court or a court decision. Out-of-court decisions cover web sites hosting child pornography, encouragement of suicide, and information on the sale of illegal drugs. All other kinds of web sites judged to be dangerous to its users can be blacklisted through a court’s decision. ‘We are going to try to have web sites promoting prostitutes’ services blacklisted by a court decision,’ explained Mr Davydov. ‘Using the services in the first place is a private matter; people are free to continue doing so. But we are determined to prevent children from accidentally accessing such sites by simply browsing the Web. As we speak, our experts are analysing such online resources; a court action against them is only a couple of months away.’