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Russian Court Bans YouTube for Extremist Content

A court in Russia's Far East has ordered a local Internet provider to block access to YouTube and four other Internet Web sites for spreading what prosecutors call extremist content.

The court in the city Komsomolsk-on-Amur ordered the ban in response to a government lawsuit against Internet provider Rosnet.

Russian media say prosecutors found an extremist Russian-language video clip on YouTube and excerpts of Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf on the other sites. The Hitler diatribe is on a Russian federal list of banned extremist literature.

The YouTube clip contains audio of a rock song titled "Russia for Russians." It shows a series of still images promoting Russian ultra-nationalism and extremist groups denouncing Islam, Israel, the United States and NATO.

Internet service provider Rosnet says it has appealed the court order. In an interview with Russia Today television, Rosnet owner Aleksandr Emrakov called the ruling absurd, noting that "all of mankind" uses YouTube.

Critics of Russia's anti-extremist laws routinely accuse authorities of using the measures to stifle freedom of expression, including anti-government protests and rallies.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.