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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.