FC: Russia poised to restrict online opposition to government

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Mon Jun 24 2002 - 23:04:20 PDT

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       Russia poised to restrict Net activities
       By Declan McCullagh 
       Staff Writer, CNET News.com
       June 24, 2002, 12:10 PM PT
       MOSCOW--Russia's parliament may give final approval this week to
       sweeping restrictions on using the Internet to oppose the government.
       At the request of President Vladimir Putin, the Russian Duma voted 272
       to 126 last week in favor of the offline and online restrictions as an
       immediate response to what Putin called a spate of pro-Nazi and
       anti-religious extremist activities.
       The Russian measure, which could receive final approval in the Duma as
       early as this week, pitted Putin and his supporters against the
       members of Russia's nascent human rights community who decried the
       anti-extremism bill as a perilous expansion of police power. Also
       opposed to the Draft on Contravention of Extremist Activities were
       members of the Communist Party, who feared they could be targeted as
       illegal extremists.
       "It is true that in Russia nowadays, there are many cases of extremism
       based on religious and national background," Sergei Kovalev, a member
       of the 450-person Duma, said in an interview. "But the declared
       purpose of this bill has nothing to do with the true purpose.
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