Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Russia seems to want to crack down on amateur blogging

Russia has gone from focusing on gay “propaganda” to all “propaganda” as Neil MscFarquhar reports in the New York Times, “Russia quietly tightens reins on Web with new ‘Bloggers Law’”, link here,  on the front page in print Wednesday.

The law would maintain that any website with more than 3000 visitors a day must be held responsible for the accuracy of what it publishes.  But in the US,  civil liability for libel can exist with just one visitor, so the idea sounds superfluous.

I may have achieved that volume (among all my sites) a few times, but not often.

Putin also noted that someone who writes online has the power to affect the lives of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people, with no gatekeeper holding him accountable.  I guess I’ve made that point myself before, but it’s more the idea that someone doesn’t go away, so some ideas that may be difficult (especially for politicians) remain in play. 

Russia had passed another law Feb. 1 allowing the government to remove or block sites with politically provocative content.

As for Uganda, there is a law now requiring a gathering of more than three people to get a license to discuss politics! So the anti-gay laws are definitely a proxy for something much bigger.  

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