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

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid