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Kremlin's Internet Walls Will Rival China's

Published: July 3, 2014 (Issue # 1818)




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How can you spot a pedophile? Just ask Russian Duma Deputy Yelena Mizulina. She knows: a pedophile always has an iPhone.

On July 2 Mizulina surprised many people when she called an iPhone a device used to commit depraved actions against children. Mizulina made the statement at a meeting of the Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children, a committee which she heads.

Mizulina has long been famous for her strange views on pedophilia, homosexuality and the Internet. For example, she said that the phrase "gays are people too" was "potentially extremist." After that statement, more than 100,000 people signed a petition sent to the State Duma requesting that Mizulina undergo a psychiatric examination.

But Duma deputies make so many strange statements that they've lost their ability to shock. Not long ago a group of deputies proposed the idea of a draft law officially banning high-heeled shoes. The authors of this draft law said they were concerned about women's health. But bloggers circulated the humorous suggestion that they were simply trying to bring Russian legislation in line with fictional Lilliputian legislation, which, according to author Jonathan Swift, banned high-heeled shoes in court. To the relief of Russian women, the proposal did not make it to the stage of draft legislation.

On the other hand, on July 1 in Russia a ban on the sale of lace panties went into effect, which undoubtedly has made even the Iranian clergy writhe with envy.

However, in contrast with the strange ideas of other deputies, Mizulina's proposals have one special characteristic: sooner or later they always turn into laws. Her draft law banning "propaganda of homosexuality" also seemed outrageous at first, especially since it directly violates the Constitution. But, regardless of this fact, her proposal became law last summer, even though it deprives the LGBT community of public protection of their rights.

Given Mizulina's track record, the Russian blogosphere immediately became alarmed when she put forth a new idea for legislation. There's cause for concern. Mizulina's plan is for Internet-users in the Russian Federation to get a filtered version of the Internet by default. Mizulina calls this filtered version "clean Internet." Providers would use filters with automatic program algorithms to block sites.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during today’s Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the center’s Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonight’s performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Center’s Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodina’s website for more details.



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