Russia has been swinging its ban-hammer around the internet once again, and after striking down Reddit and Wikipedia, now it was time for Pornhub and 10 other similar sites to feel the wrath of Russia's internet regulations.
According to The Moscow Times, Russian communication watchdog Roskomnadzor has blocked access to the Russian version of PornHub and 10 other sites because they contained "unlawful pornographic content based on a Krasnodar region's court ruling“.
Lenta.ru says the sites violated a law "protecting children from harmful information“. It is left unclear whether the sites hosted child pornography or not.
Roskomnadzor warned in its Monday statement that distributing illegal pornographic content online is punishable by a prison term of two to six years.
Russia has been busy swinging the ban-hammer at various sites, usually saying those sites are damaging to the development of children.
Recently, both Reddit and Wikipedia were temporarily banned for the same reason. Reddit was banned because one of its subpages, r/trees community, is a place for marijuana fans to hang out and talk about their drug of choice. One of the subreddit’s moderators is rapper Snoop Dogg, who regularly posts on the site.
However, Reddit was quickly unbanned.
Wikipedia suffered a similar fate, when it refused to delete a site relating to drug use. That ban was quickly lifted, too.
According to The Independent, the reasoning behind the bans is almost identical to David Cameron’s arguments for shutting down porn websites in the UK. In July, he said that sites would be forced to put stringent age checks in place or the sites would be banned.