14 Aug 2019 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 14 Aug 2019 n° 92/2019 Russian Federation

Roskomnadzor Requests the Take-down of Information about Moscow Protests

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
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Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index
On 11 August 2019, the Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor published a statement requesting Google to prevent its video-sharing service Youtube from disseminating information on the recent protests in Moscow. The statement aims to prevent the "advertising for unauthorised demonstrations" and declares that the Russian Federation would consider a failure to respond an “interference in its sovereign affairs” and a “hostile influence and obstruction of democratic elections in Russia”. Without disclosing possible measures, Roskomnadzor explains that the Russian Federation would have the right to retaliate if Google does not stop its push notifications and other advertising.

“According to available information, several entities possessing YouTube channels have bought advertising instruments [such as push notifications] with the aim of disseminating information about unsanctioned [illegal] mass events, including those aimed at disrupting regional and federal elections,” the agency writes on its website.

Government authorities of the Russian Federation have also accused the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) and the government of the United States of America of encouraging the Moscow protests.

There have been three Saturday protests in Moscow since the end of July 2019, after the electoral authorities had rejected several opposition candidates from running in the elections to the city council, which are due in September. The first two protests were not authorised by the public authorities. Several YouTube channels broadcasted the protests live, reaching out for thousands of users. The requested take-down could ban access to this information.
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