Russian Wikipedia goes dark for 24 hours in protest against new web censorship law

Last Updated: Wed, Jul 11, 2012 06:50 hrs

Russia's version of Wikipedia went dark for 24 hours in protest at a new law that would give the government powers to blacklist certain sites.

The government said it wants greater powers to block sites that show child pornography, promote teenage suicide and spreads information about drugs.

Wikipedia, however, likened the proposed law to the Great Firewall of China, the BBC reports.

According to the report, visitors to the website saw a black line across the site's logo and a message explaining the move.

Moscow is seeking to amend its Act for Information, which is due for review in the Duma, Russia's parliament, on July 11.

If approved, it would allow the government to set up an agency, which would maintain a list of banned sites.

Visitors to Wikipedia were greeted with a message, which said 'the State Duma is expected to hold a second hearing about amendments to the Information Act, which could lead to the creation of extra-judicial censorship of the entire Internet in Russia, including banning access to Wikipedia in the Russian language.'

"Today the Wikipedia community voices protest against the introduction of censorship, which is dangerous for the freedom of knowledge - something which must be open-access for all mankind," it added. (ANI)

More from Sify: