Russian Federation

[RU] Blocking Internet Allowed without Court Decision

IRIS 2014-3:1/40

Andrei Richter

Center for Media, Data and Society, School of Public Policy, Central European University (Budapest)

On 30 December 2013 President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation signed into law a bill adopted by the State Duma (parliament) on 17 December 2013, in a first reading, and on 20 December 2013, in the second and the third readings. The bill amends Article 15 of the Law on Information, Information Technologies and Protection of Information (see IRIS 2013-8/33) so as to allow the Prosecutor General and his deputies to order blocking websites containing content such as calls to unsanctioned public protests and to “extremist” activities.

The act now introduces the following procedure: without judicial approval the Prosecutor General or one of his deputies (currently - 15 deputies) will send a written demand to the governmental watchdog Roskomnadzor (see IRIS 2012-8/36). The latter immediately orders the communications operator and the hosting provider to take steps that will result in removal of the content believed to be illegal. The act also applies to information coming from abroad; a notice will then be sent in English. The communications operator is also bound to block the access to the content upon receipt of the Roskomnadzor order. The act establishes a procedure to resume access to the website in when the content is removed.

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović expressed her concern about the bill on 20 December 2013.


  • Федеральный закон Российской Федерации от 28 декабря 2013 г. N 398-ФЗ "О внесении изменений в Федеральный закон «Об информации, информационных технологиях и о защите информации"

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This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.