A case heard in the Russian Pskov City Court recently, in which prosecutors wanted internet service provider Rostelecom to block access to online gambling sites, was dismissed by the court who ruled “while online gambling is prohibited, providing access is not”.
While the ruling provided some relief to ISP’s, it was short-lived as a more recent Supreme Court ruling clarified its position, in what was described as “very sharp language”, saying it is unlawful to disseminate the information restricted by federal law as well provide access to it.
Anton Maltsev from law firm Barker & McKenzie told The Moscow Times: “Although internet service providers used to be able to wait until a site appeared on an official blacklist, the ruling implies that they risk going out of business simply by not blocking illegal content”.
The Supreme Court ruling implies “that compliance with content restrictions could be a licensing requirement,” added Maltsev.
Violators of the Federal law are put on a Justice Ministry-managed official blacklist which currently contains around 1 500 blacklisted websites.