The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office uses the Internet without blocking Roskomnadzor — Meduza

The Prosecutor General's Office of Russia uses the Internet without blocking Roskomnadzor. This became known to Meduza in the course of consideration in the Tagansky District Court of Moscow of the claim of the publication against Roskomnadzor and the Prosecutor General's Office to recognize the blocking of the site as illegal.

According to Sergey Badamshin, who represents the interests of Meduza, during the meeting it turned out that the services of the provider to the Prosecutor General's Office are provided by the Federal Security Service (FSO), so "the Internet works there without blocking Roskomnadzor."

He recalled that the publication’s website was blocked twice: on March 4, 2022, at the initiative of Roskomnadzor, and then on March 16, 2022, the Prosecutor General’s Office issued a request to re-restrict access. At the same time, the Prosecutor General's Office made a decision after monitoring the publication's website, which by that time had already been blocked.

In 2017, Russia adopted a law on the media-“foreign agents”. According to it, any media outlet that receives funding or property from abroad can be recognized as a “foreign agent”. In 2019, a new law was adopted, which made it possible to classify as "foreign agents" not only legal entities, but also individuals.

Since December 2020, individuals and unregistered public associations receiving funding from abroad can also be given this status for “political activity” in Russia, which de facto includes any public assessment of the activities of any state authorities. In addition, on March 1, 2021, penalties for violations of the activities of “foreign agents” were toughened: today they provide for both administrative fines and criminal liability for up to five years in prison.

Over the past years, hundreds of media, NGOs and individuals have been included in the registers of “foreign agents”. The first five people - human rights activist Lev Ponomarev, journalists Lyudmila Savitskaya, Sergey Markelov and Denis Kamalyagin, as well as civil activist Daria Apakhonchich - were included in the corresponding list on December 28, 2020. Later, this status was assigned to Meduza and the First Anti-Corruption Media. On May 14, VTimes was recognized as a “foreign agent” media outlet, the editors of which later decided to close the media outlet due to the new status.

In addition, after the outbreak of the war, Roskomnadzor demanded that the Russian media use only the wording “special operation” when covering the invasion of Ukraine. Since February 24, The Insider, Radio Liberty, Current Time, Krym.Realii, Voice of America, New Times,, DOXA, Ekho Moskvy, Dozhd have been blocked in Russia , Meduza, BBC Russian Service, Deutsche Welle and others. TV channel "Rain", radio "Echo of Moscow" and the Tomsk agency TV2 decided to stop working. In most cases, the block was initiated by the Russian Prosecutor General's Office.

Roskomnadzor also blocked the social networks Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And the court recognized the activities of the American corporation Meta as extremist and banned it in Russia.

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