NEWS

New Russian Porn Ban Angers Citizens

Russia has banned two more porn websites, giving its horny citizens the advice that if they want to get their kicks, they ought to go out into the real world and meet somebody. The Russian porn ban has been enacted by the Kremlin’s watchdog Roskomnadzor, which is Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media.

The ban, which includes two of the world’s favorite porn sites – Pornhub and YouPorn – has come as a surprise to Russian Internet users. Many of them have become enraged by the sudden hardcore censorship, complaining bitterly to the Russian agency.

Amusingly, the watchdog Roskomnadzor has been actively engaging in berating those Russian citizens that complain. In a post that went viral in Russia when issued last year (when Russia completed its first set of pornography bans) the agency responded to one angry complaint with the following statement,

‘Dear Lyolya, as an alternative you could try and meet someone in real life.’

Following this latest more extreme ban on popular pornography sites, the watchdog has reiterated this advice. Informing the public that,

‘Dear lovers of the Internet, this piece of advice still stands.’

russian porn ban 1Restriction notices

Restriction might well be the only word of sin, yet in Russia, the porn ban is now in full force. As such, if citizens inside Russia attempt to go to Pornhub or YouPorn, they are redirected to a page that says the page is blocked by ‘decision of public authorities.’

The ban is enacted via already standing decisions that were previously created by two separate regional courts. Those tribunals decided that websites help ‘spread’ pornography – something that the Russian courts decided was not a benefit to the nation. As such, the ban is not due to new laws but merely the decision to enforce already standing rules in a more specific manner.

According to Vitaliy Shevchenko, a Russian journalist for the BBC, explicit material isn’t actually banned in Russia. The confusing rules do however ban ‘the illegal production, dissemination, and advertisement of pornographic materials and objects.’ It is under this guise that many porn sites are now being subjected to the restriction.

Deflated Russians

In fact, despite the widespread complaints from Russian citizens, it is not uncommon for the Russian watchdog to employ such practices. Roskomnadzor currently has a blacklist of banned websites that runs into the thousands, and more sites are added to that growing list all the time. Even Wikipedia was banned for a short period.

Most of the time, those websites are successfully banned to protect the nation’s minors. In 2015, for example, 11 porn sites were put off limits to protect children ‘from information harmful to their health’. It is those children that this latest wave of porn-bans seeks to protect according to the nation’s watchdog.

Many people, however, feel that the government simply uses Russia’s rather extreme child protection laws to ban what it wants, when it wants. Web sites that criticize or undermine the actions of Putin’s government, for example, often find themselves blacklisted. This leads people to the belief that it is control of information rather than child protection that the Kremlin is really interested in.

diy-russia

Lifting the Russian porn ban with a VPN

Eva Galperin, the global policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has been quick to point out that people can bypass Russia’s censorship easily if they wish,

‘Blocking porn is the fastest way to ensure widespread adoption of censorship circumvention in your country.’

This is something that we know a lot about here at BestVPN.com. We can confirm that many Russians did indeed begin to turn to VPN services during the first round of pornography bans, and are doing so again on this occasion.

With a VPN, Internet users can ‘spoof’ their location to a foreign country. If a quality VPN is employed, this is done with strong military grade encryption. The result? The Kremlin-imposed restrictions are circumnavigated in a secure manner that makes it very hard for the government (or ISP) to know users are visiting the restricted sites.

The now famous Russian protester Nadya Tolokonnikova, from the Moscow band ‘Pussy Riot’ has gone public with her joke that the Russian porn ban is a ‘hit below the belt’ to citizens.

pornhub-russia-pornMeanwhile, PornHub apparently offered the Kremlin’s watchdog a lifetime premium membership in exchange for a lift on the Russian porn ban. This was an offer that Roskomnadzor politely turned down.


Ray Walsh I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR and I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood and love to listen to trap music.

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2 responses to “New Russian Porn Ban Angers Citizens

  1. honestly ? this is probably way to uplift the birth rate for Russia, since it is at an all time low. (below the death rate) and not some religious thing as some commenters (who don’t exist yet) might have thought~

    especially since the response to complaint is to “go have sex in real life”

    1. You can have it rather easy there, really, unless you look like Cthulhu, that is. Most Russians probably use Russian-hosted porn sites, anyway, as those have more, um, DMCA-unfriendly materials posted, compared to US-hosted ones.

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