Chances of Success at Resource Blocking Complaints at the European Court

    Most likely, complaints to the European Court about resource blocking in connection with Roskomnadzor’s attempts to block the Telegram may have a good chance that the Court may recognize a violation.

    Site blocking issues have been examined by the European Court in several cases . Most of the cases concern locks in Turkey, although complaints against Russia have recently begun to appear.

    In general, the Court’s approach is as follows. Blocking resources that constitute a source of important and unique information may violate Article 10 of the European Convention (the right to freedom of information).

    The closest to the actual situation with blocking due to attempts to block Telegram was the situation with blocking Google.Sites, which were blocked by a Turkish court due to the fact that several sites were hosted on one IP, one of which contained forbidden information. But it was not a separate site with forbidden information that was blocked, but completely Google.Sites.

    The European Court, having examined the complaint of the owner of the site, which was hosted on Google.Sites along with the forbidden one and was blocked because of this, found a violation. The court noted that the blocking was carried out on the basis of a law that permitted blocking only of individual sites or pages, but not of the entire resource. In the decision, the European Court also noted that the Google.Sites service was not warned about the illegality of the content posted on one of the sites hosted on it. In addition, the Turkish court did not weigh the interests of interested parties in this case: on the one hand, the interests of society to restrict illegal content, and on the other hand, the interests of the owner of the site, who did not violate the law, but simply was hosted on the same hosting site as the “violators” . Accordingly, the law

    The Russian law, on the basis of which blocking is carried out, provides for the possibility of blocking both individual pages and the entire resource. But this law can also potentially be considered “defective” due to the fact that it does not provide for the need to weigh the interests of those who did not commit violations, but at the same time it turned out to be blocked. In the continuation of this logic, it can be assumed that the European Court may recognize a violation of the Convention in connection with the blocking by Roskomnadzor of various resources. But it must be recalled that in order for a complaint to the ECHR to be declared admissible and examined on the merits, exhaustion of national remedies is necessary. This means that you need to bring all these arguments in litigation in Russian courts.

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