Roskomnadzor plans to classify reasons for blocking websites

Russia’s media regulator Roskamnadzor is planning to classify the authorities’ explanation for blocking websites, daily newspaper Kommersant reported on Monday.

The proposal by Roskomnadzor would annul a clause that gives the public the right to access the grounds for decision by the Prosecutor General’s Office to block a website, according to a draft decree for public discussion posted on Roskomnadzor’s website.

Anti-online censorship NGO Roskomsvoboda has long criticised the opacity that surrounds the government’s blocking of websites in Russia, a practice that has seen a sharp increase since the invasion of Ukraine and the introduction of military censorship.

IT expert Philip Kulin told Roskomsvoboda that the change would severely impact the public’s awareness of which sites were being blocked and why, while Nikita Tsaplin, the CEO of virtual server provider RuVDS also decried the move and said that it would “negatively affect the transparency of decision-making”.

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