Russia moves closer to search engine interference

News on 2 Sep 2017

Russia appears to be continually expanding its anti-online gambling measures, with the latest target search engine blocks against internet gambling sites that telecomms regulator Roskomnadzor has blacklisted.

Earlier this week the regulator and major local search engines reached consensus on mandatory measures designed to block the access of Russians to search engine listings associated with blacklisted online gambling websites.

The proposal is that the regulator will set up an automated alert service that advises local search engines of new blacklistings; the search engines then have 72 hours to remove all references to the blacklisted websites.

Roskomnadzor has in recent months banned tens of thousands of online gambling websites, adding them to its massively and continually expanding blacklist.

The automated advisory system emulates that used in similar blocks that internet service providers are obliged to implement following an earlier initiative. Whilst there are harsh penalties for non-compliance by ISPs, the penalties in store for search engines have yet to be announced.

Our readers will recall that Russian law now makes provision for ISP blocking and for curbs on the use of virtual private networks and other tools capable of circumventing banning measures.

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