Federal Drug Control Service: Internet must be filtered by default


Russian Federal Drug Control Service chairman Viktor Ivanov has called for ‘default filters to be installed across the Russian Internet to better counter websites offering illegal drugs.’ The call came at today’s meeting of the State Antidrug Committee, where Mr Ivanov was commenting on the proliferation of ads offering synthetic drugs (also called ‘spice’) online. He also suggested making websites advertising or selling ‘spice’ should be a criminal offence.

‘We must jointly consider the possibility of going beyond merely detecting and blocking individual websites, including the introduction of so-called default filters,’ said Mr Ivanov, stressing that many countries were using such filters to prevent easy access to information about illegal drugs sale.

‘This is another proof that the problem posed by illegal online content, including illegal drugs ads, is real and not imaginary. And pre-filtering, currently actively discussed by the public and the Internet industry, might help us solve that problem,’ claimed Safe Internet League CEO Denis Davydov.

The idea of pre-filtering was first aired mid-2014 by the Russian MP Yelena Mizulina. The Safe Internet League supported her proposal, suggesting, as a possible solution, to introduce ISP-level content pre-filtering systems that could automatically assess a requested web page’s content in real time and block illegal materials.

‘There is a whole stratum of information that can harm the child, yet is nevertheless present online. Parental control filters alone cannot solve the problem because only 5% of Russian parents use them. Increasing media literacy might take decades, but no-one would want to have whole ‘lost generations’ that grew up in the unsafe environment. This is why the Safe Internet League argues for a technical solution that would provide filtering at service provider level,’ explained Safe Internet League CEO Denis Davydov.