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Russian lawmakers want to make it easier to block ‘defamatory’ websites

Source: Meduza

State Duma deputies have submitted legislation that would allow the government to block access to websites and online content that contain information deemed by a court to be defamatory. Currently, courts can only fine people periodically for disobeying court orders to delete defamatory content.

Since May 2017, when a judge ruled that his investigative report into Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev defames billionaire Alisher Usmanov, Alexey Navalny has simply been incurring occasional fines for refusing to take down the report. The court ordered Navalny to delete the segments of his report that refer to Usmanov, but he has refused, and the report is still available online.

Under the proposed legislation, Russia’s Bailiff Service would be empowered to ask the federal censor, Roskomnadzor, to block Navalny’s blog and YouTube for failing to remove the claims about Usmanov.

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