So, I was trying to access the Russian-language Wikipedia to work on a blog post that I’ve had in mind, and was wondering “Why the heck isn’t the Russian Wikipedia working?!” Well, I just found out that the Russian Wikipedia is on strike over a bill that proposes a unified digital blacklist of all websites containing banned content.
From RIA Novosti (link here):
The Russian-language segment of Wikipedia, the world’s largest free on-line encyclopedia, temporarily suspended its work on Tuesday in protest against a bill proposing a unified digital blacklist of all websites containing banned content.
The draft legislation, supported by all four party factions in the State Duma, has been widely criticized by civil rights activists and internet providers as an attempt to introduce censorship of the Russian segment of the internet (RuNet).
The site is expected to stay offline for 24 hours. The main page reads:
Imagine a world without free knowledge.
Today, July 10, the Duma hearings are going to amend the Act for information that could lead to the creation of extra-judicial censorship of the Internet in Russian, including closure of access to Wikipedia in Russian.
The Wikipedia community protests against censorship, which threatens free knowledge, opened for mankind. We ask that you support us in opposing this bill.
You may remember that Wikipedia went offline for 24 hours in a similar action on January 18 to protest against U.S. anti-piracy legislation that could lead to censorship. As a result of that blackout, the U.S. Congress postponed the vote on two controversial bills until the issues raised about them were resolved.
Will the same happen in Russia? I guess we’ll just see!