Politics

Leninsky District Court of Vladimir blocked Wikipedia

The page about the special operation was banned, but the encyclopedia cannot be banned page by page

On 29 July, at the suit of the military prosecutor, the Leninsky District Court of Vladimir ruled that several pages of Internet resources were prohibited on the territory of Russia. Among the pages that were banned was an article in Wikipedia about a special military operation.

“Dissemination of the above information is illegal, misleads an uncertain circle regarding the goals of the special military operation, completely contradicts official information sources as well as official statements of persons authorized by the Russian Federation and is aimed at forming a distorted perception of the events taking place among the Russian Internet audience and creating protest moods, insults the honor and dignity of the Russian Federation President and members of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

The court’s decision also describes what exactly the misleading of an indefinite circle of people consisted in.

Links to the prohibited materials are also posted on the court’s website. In at least one case, the insults against the President were found directly in the title of the address bar.

It is specified that the plaintiff’s representative pointed out that the content of the article can be viewed by anyone without registration with a username and password. The court also not only found that the posted information contradicts the official statements, but also cited such statements in the decision:

“In the official statement of the President of the Russian Federation it is specifically noted that the plans of the Russian Federation in carrying out a special military operation do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories.

Thus, the conduct of a special military operation by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on the territories of the independent Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, as well as the territory of Ukraine is assistance to the recognized People’s Republics in repelling the military aggression of the Ukrainian regime based on previously reached international agreements, which is not contrary to generally accepted international law and is not an occupation of Ukrainian territory, a war with Ukraine or an invasion”.

The court’s decision to block banned articles, including Wikipedia, is immediately enforceable, but can be appealed within a month.

Wikipedia itself, on the page on blocking in Russia, says that since the Internet encyclopedia works over a secure HTTPS protocol, providers cannot block its individual pages. Thus, either the court decision will not actually be executed, or Roskomnadzor will be forced to block Wikipedia in Russia as a whole.

Previously, the “blocking” of Wikipedia in Russia was accompanied by the Streisand effect. Articles that had only dozens of views per day before the blocking, after Roskomnadzor’s messages increased their attendance by thousands of times, and at the peak of the views reached up to 100,000 hits per day.

Original publication

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