Skip to main content
  • Share to or

Russia bans the Internet Archive

The Kremlin's media watchdog agency, Roskomnadzor, has banned the popular Internet Archive, a digital library of, music, videos, and books, as well as a web archive called the Wayback Machine, containing over 150 billion copies of websites at different moments in time. Russian Internet users started reporting on September 1 that their providers have restricted access to the website.

Earlier, officials added one of the Internet Archive’s web pages to the government's blacklist. According to the website Antizapret, which monitors internet censorship in Russia, the blacklisted page contained links to Syrian islamist videos. However, because the Internet Archive uses https protocol for secure communication, the entire website will be blocked in Russia.

The Internet Archive is a nonprofit based out of San Francisco. One of its services, the Wayback Machine, allows users to search and access archives of the web. Millions of websites and their content are save in the database. It can be used to see what previous versions of websites looked like in the past, including access to pages that are no longer available.

Roskomnadzor bans websites featuring supposedly illegal content by adding URLs to an official blacklist. Internet providers are supposed to download this blacklist two times a day, at 9 a.m. and at 9 p.m. Providers are then obligated to block customers' access to the webpages on the list.

The Internet Archive has been blacklisted before. On June 25, some providers began blocking access to the website because one of its webpages allegedly contained extremist materials.

In August, Roskomnadzor briefly banned the popular website Reddit. The offending content was a page titled, "Minimal and Reliable Methods for Growing Psilocybe [Mushrooms]." 

In late August, Roskomnadzor also briefly blacklisted a Wikipedia entry on the drug charas. Access to Wikipedia was lost entirely by some Russian users on August 25, but was quickly reinstated after Roskomnadzor removed the entry from its blacklist. ()

Most recently, the music portal was banned by officials due to a song called “Kill a Cop!” 

Read more on this issue, read This is how Russian Internet censorship works: A journey into the belly of the beast that is the Kremlin’s media watchdog

  • Share to or