Kremlin's Internet Walls Will Rival China's
Published: July 3, 2014 (Issue # 1818)
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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