Politician Alexey Navalny has filed a lawsuit against Roskomnadzor, Russia’s federal censor, arguing that the agency illegally blacklisted his February 8 investigative report about oligarch Oleg Deripaska and Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Prikhodko meeting aboard the former’s yacht in August 2016, possibly to discuss Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential election.
On February 9, Deripaska filed a lawsuit against the self-described escort Nastya Rybka, on whose Instagram photos, YouTube videos, and book Navalny based his bombshell report. That same day, a court ordered Roskomnadzor to start blocking access to Rybka’s photos and videos, as well as Navalny’s report. The agency responded by adding Navalny’s content to Russia’s federal Internet blacklist, and by sending takedown orders to several media outlets, including YouTube and Instagram, threatening to block the two social networks if they don’t comply by February 14.
The anti-corruption activist says his investigation was based on open-source information, not confidential data. He also says there’s an overriding public interest at stake that eclipses Deripaska’s privacy concerns.