Restricting access to YouTube in the Far East is dangerous for the development of the Internet in Russia

  • From RSS
Marina Zhunich, Director for Relations with Government Authorities

Recent judicial decisions regarding Internet and hosting providers in various regions of the country threaten the very existence and development of the Internet in Russia.

So, the latest decision of the Central District Court of Komsomolsk-on-Amur dated July 16, 2010 on restricting access for all subscribers of RA RTS Rosnet to,,, and in full, and not to specific web pages where the materials listed on the federal list of extremist materials of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation were posted, in our opinion, restricts the right of users to access information, i.e. directly violates article 29 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

Of course, it is necessary to fight extremism and other types of illegal content, and hosting providers are constantly improving technological solutions in this area. In particular, YouTube prohibits posting and encourages users to flag hate videos (see YouTube Community Guidelines for more information ). All notifications received from users are quickly reviewed by the moderators, and in case of violation of these requirements, the video is immediately deleted from the site.

The restriction of access to the entire platform, which provides users with the opportunity to post content and exchange information on the basis of at least one material the content of which the government considers extremist, is excessive and tantamount to a ban on the entire Internet. As a result, the closure of access to YouTube in the Far East, the subscribers of RA RTS Rosnet are deprived of access to a huge part of information and educational content, in particular, video channels of state authorities, television companies and leading universities of the country.

Our experience of interacting with government agencies in Europe and the United States shows that the most effective form of Internet regulation that allows the worldwide network to develop and move forward an innovative economy is a combination of self-regulation and active civic identity of users, with minimal state control.

Also popular now: