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Russian Wikipedia shuts down site to protest law

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July 10, 2012, 1:28 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Wikipedia has shut down its Russian-language site for 24 hours to protest a law that would give the government sweeping powers to blacklist certain sites.
© AFP

Associated Press

Associated Press

MOSCOW — Wikipedia has shut down its Russian-language site for 24 hours to protest a law that would give the government sweeping powers to blacklist certain sites.

Lawmakers say that the bill, which is to be reviewed in parliament today, is designed to protect the well-being of children. It enables the government to block sites that show child pornography, promote teen suicide, or spread information about drugs.

But both Internet users and human rights activists have loudly protested the law. The Presidential Council of Human Rights said that the law provides too wide a scope for the government to "subjectively" select which sites to blacklist.

The Wikipedia protest comes after a similar shutdown of the English-language site in January to protest the anti-pirating Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. Congress.

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