Russian Anti-Piracy Group Wants To Forbid Discussions Of Blocklist Circumvention Tools
from the copyright-leads-yet-again-to-censorship dept
Just recently, we were writing about the increasingly-desperate assault on Popcorn Time in Norway, where even linking to sites that offer the software is enough for the authorities to seize a domain name. Now the Russian anti-piracy group Association for the Protection of Copyright on the Internet (AZAPO) wants to take its own fight up a notch in an equally vain attempt to stop people finding out how to circumvent blocklists using proxies, VPNs and Tor. As TorrentFreak reports:
In a document penned by AZAPO, approved by [Russian] telecoms watchdog Rozkomnadzor, and seen by Gazeta.ru, the anti-piracy group says that banning discussion of workarounds will enhance the country’s blocking regime.
“The introduction of [a system of fines] for those who promote methods for bypassing Internet blockades will enhance the effectiveness of blocking prohibited Internet resources,” the group writes.
Fines will range from around $70 for individuals, up to $14,500 for companies. AZAPO’s document is being sent to the Ministry of Communications for discussion in the lower house of Russia’s parliament.
The TorrentFreak post points out that even if the authorities managed to enforce such a law within Russia, there’s not much they could do about companies promoting VPNs outside the country. And the ultimate constraint on any attempt to forbid people from knowing something is the Streisand Effect: the more the Russian government tries to ban discussions of circumvention technologies, the more people will be keen to find out about them.