Ivan Pavlov: Russian-speaking Internet in poor shape for 21st birthday celebrations

posted 12 Apr 2015, 10:21 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Apr 2015, 10:25 ]
8 April 2015

Source: HRO.org (info)
The Russian Federation’s adoption of laws which severely curtail the freedom of the Russian-speaking Internet means that the latter will be in poor shape for its 21st birthday celebrations. This is the conclusion drawn by Ivan Pavlov (lawyer, human rights activist and one-time chair of the board of the Freedom of Information Foundation).

"Despite all of these laws aimed at blocking sites, cracking down on piracy or protecting children from harmful information (or in other words protecting adults from information in general), I hope that the Internet will remain a free forum and that the laws which limit the uses to which it can be put are revised. I also hope that every one of us remains able to decide what is harmful for his or her own children,” stated Pavlov in conversation with a Rosbalt correspondent.

The human rights activist said that he was still an optimist, and expressed his certainty that, “all of these backward-looking restrictions will sooner or later fall away like shackles”.

Anna Sharogradskaya, director of the Regional Press Institute, believes that things are very likely to get worse, however.

In her words, “I don’t remember a ‘Golden Age’ of the Internet. A number of people got excited about the fact that a new source of information had been created, seen by some as a new toy and by others as a forum for self-expression. But we have not yet managed to derive any useful benefit from it. We need to face facts and understand that the people working to discredit the very idea of public access to the Internet are far from foolish.”

The “ru” domain was assigned to Russia and included in the international database of national top-level domains on 7 April 1994. New domain names were registered on its very first day of existence and subsequently delegated onwards.

Translated by Joanne Reynolds