This story is from the category Legal
Date posted: 12/07/2012
Russia's parliament has voted to approve a law that would give the government the power to force certain internet sites offline without a trial.
Supporters of the amendment to the Act for Information say it will help the authorities block sites containing images of child abuse and other illegal material.
But opponents have warned that censorship could later be extended.
The bill still needs to be signed by President Vladimir Putin to become law.
It must also be approved by Russia's upper house, the Federation Council of Russia. Local reports suggest it could come into force by November.
The Russian-language version of Wikipedia took its content offline for a day ahead of the vote claiming the law "could lead to the creation of extra-judicial censorship of the entire internet in Russia, including banning access to Wikipedia in the Russian language."
Local search engine Yandex also signalled concern. It crossed out the word "everything" in its "everything will be found" logo.
"Such decisions should not be taken hastily," wrote the service's editor-in-chief, Elena Kolmanovskaya, on its blog.
"The bill should be discussed in open forum with the participation of the internet industry and technical experts."
The Russian social networking site Vkontakte also posted messages on users' homepages warning that the law posed a risk to its future.
See the full Story via external site: www.bbc.co.uk
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