News / Europe

Moscow Threatens YouTube Over Anti-Islam Video

Band of former Soviet paratroopers performing anti-Putin song got more than 1 million views on YouTube, Moscow, Feb. 4, 2012.
Band of former Soviet paratroopers performing anti-Putin song got more than 1 million views on YouTube, Moscow, Feb. 4, 2012.
Russia's communications minister is threatening to ban YouTube in the country if the popular Internet site doesn't remove a video mocking Islam.
 
Although Moscow courts have yet to grant prosecutors' request, critics say banning sites is just another way for the Kremlin to clamp down on the opposition in the country, which is home to roughly 20 million Muslims.
 
The YouTube video mocking Islam is still up and available for viewing in Russia.
 
Under new legislation expected to be enacted November 1, sites that carry banned information in Russia would be put on a special list which would be distributed to Internet service providers, who would then be notified they have one day to block access to the sites.
 
Senator Ruslan Gattarov of the pro-Kremlin United Russia Party was the first senator to raise the sensitive issue with prosecutors. He says as long as Google, the owner of YouTube, removes the video, the site will not need to be blocked. 
 
"Content that is insulting to the people, of low quality, that is simply gaudy and which may be considered similar to pedophilia, should not be present on the Web, let alone on such big portals as YouTube," he said.
 
Many Russian politicians, including former Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, say the Internet has been responsible for facilitating protests of unprecedented size against President Vladimir Putin ahead of this year's presidential election.
 
According to political analyst Andrei Kortunov, president of the New Eurasia Foundation in Moscow, even if supporters of the law have benign intentions, the scope of the new law's enforcement could remain an open question.
 
"It is a slippery slope. We do not know how it will be interpreted and implemented," he said. "Once you embark on this road and start limiting Internet content, it will be hard to stop. I think what bothers many people is that they see this legislation as another link that not only applies to the Internet, but to the freedom of rallies or demonstrations."
 
Despite concerns of many Russians, Senator Gattarov says the new legislation is not censorship, explaining that it is wrong to say legislators are going to introduce something like censorship in Russia.
 
"They are fighting extremist content or content bringing children under the influence of pedophiles, under the influence of drug dealers and those who are ready to tell children how to commit suicide," he said.
 
Google’s Moscow office says it has received the request by Russian prosecutors to remove the video, but a spokesman says the company’s head office will have to officially respond to the request.
 
Meanwhile, civil activists have asked for permission from Moscow’s mayor to hold a sanctioned rally to protest censorship on the Internet and the possible closure of public sites such as YouTube.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dimitry from: Russia
September 28, 2012 10:59 AM
yeah... 20 million Muslims just in Russia... countless more in China... which are now being start to be radicalized from Middle East... this is a recipe of a disaster of monumental proportions... many more Muslims immigrate into the USA and Canada...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid