A major internet provider in Siberia has blocked access to YouTube in the Russian Republic of Altai, RIA Novosti has reported. A spokesman for OngNet said: “We have received instructions to block certain videos on YouTube from Roskomnnadzor [Russia’s communications watchdog]. Unfortunately, we are unable to block videos separately, so for now we had to block the whole website.”
Andrei Chepkin, director of OngNet, did not comment on the number of videos listed as unsuitable by Roskomnadzor, nor the reasons for their ban. Chepkin has said that access to YouTube will resume once the videos under scrutiny have been removed. YouTube currently remains accessible for those in Russia who use different internet service providers.
In November 2012, the government launched a blacklist law, permitting local authorities to block content deemed harmful to children or that promoted suicide or drug use. A lawsuit was brought against Russian authorities by YouTube in 2013, following a brief period on Russia’s blacklist the year before.
The site is one of approximately 85,000 websites which have found themselves on the Russian internet blacklist in the last year, with 98% blocked without valid reason, according to RuBlackList, an internet watchdog set up by members of the Pirate Party of Russia.
Source: RIA Novosti