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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs