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back to article New Russian law punishes online 'extremism'

Foreign non-Government organisations, football hooligans and possibly even hacktivists could be jailed for six years for creating or sharing unpalatable content online under new anti-extremism laws signed off by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. The laws use a loose definition of "extremism" that Russia Today reports …

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Wide or narrow definition

It would be interesting to have a precise translation of what they deem to be "extremist". There are the obvious Religious, Hard Right Wing forms of extremism but what of the those that are a little less obvious.

As an example:

Would Pussy Riot be consiered as extremist ?

Someone demonstrating peacefully against the hard line government tactics ?

How about Ukranians defending their nation ?

Yes , I know that this is a little bit of Daily Fail tactics but it would still be interesting to understand where the line lies.

Also is this any different from what is happening in the USA, UK ? We just give it a different kind if publicity and nicer names....

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LDS
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Re: Wide or narrow definition

Extermism will be anything not Putin-approved. He's KGB trained, after all, and lived in East Germany, where STASI could even teach a trick or two to KGB itself. He's playing the old game again - force people to think as you want them to think or the face something bad. Let them live in fear.

Pussy Riot? Sure. Remember they were jailed using a law about actions against religion - really funny in a country that spent seventy of the past ninety years fighting religions. Then Putin understood that dictatorship works better if you bribe the main churches in your country to support you.

That's why, for example, Mussolini signed the "Patti Lateranensi" agreement with the Pope to ensure Catholic Church support to Fascism.

The difference here you can still write what you wrote and nobody is already knowcking to your door. Jokes aside, even if "war on terrorism" was used often in the wrong way, in no way the government would be able to jail three singers because they did something stupid in a church.

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Big Brother

Re: Wide or narrow definition

Pussy Riot went to prison,

just to make some people listen.

They said Church and State's corrupt,

it must be true 'cause they're locked up!

Jeffrey Lewis WWPRD

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfnBSQAtl2k)

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How long

before this law gets used to punish people for promoting gay rights?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How long

they've been already using other laws to do that, so it will only be a matter of... extension. And as to "promoting", it's a fantastically ambiguous word. No doubt it will help.

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@ Yet Another Anonymous coward - Re: How long

> Like it was some medieval monarchy

ITYM "like the UK under the previous Tory regime..."

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Re: How long

quid pro quo for support from the Orthodox church

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Anonymous Coward

At last

Great news for our belovid Motherland, bad news for the evil world out dere!

Slava Kamradu Putinu!

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This is news?

"Terror propaganda, spreading non-Russian values, can earn you [a] trip to [the] labour camps..."

Replace "Russian" with "British", and "labour camps" with "Belmarsh" or "Guantanamo" (thanks to the clever one-way extradition agreement)... and it's much the same here.

All this cant about "freedom of speech", "rule of law", and so on goes out the window as soon as anyone feels threatened. Then it's time to get together and KILL THE STRANGERS! KILL THE HERETICS!! KILL!!! KILL!!!! KILL!!!!!

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Re: This is news?

Funnily enough there has already been talk of extending the online porn filters in the UK to include 'extremist' material (those home office civil servants must love those vague definitions).

And in other news...

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jun/15/green-party-peer-put-on-database-of-extremists-by-police

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Re: This is news?

You sound like you've met someone who's been shot and says 'yes but my arm's bruised, and that could turn out to be just as bad'. The UK's not perfect, but where is? The comment you just made could now have you arrested in Russia. I'll bet you any amount of money that you don't get arrested in the UK, and never will do. Will you take the bet?

Comments like this trivialise important issues, and sound a lot like self pity.

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Re: This is news?

Look on the bright side, if 'extremist' websites etc were banned in the UK then the Tory website would go off-line and no more tweets etc from Gove.

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Re: This is news? @ossi

The idea that we should all be treated as extremists where surveillance is concerned because we *might* do something bad isn't of concern to you?

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...and it's much the same here.

No it isn't.

I really think that some people ought to experience living in these places that are 'much the same' as Blighty.

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Re: This is news? @ossi

You don't necessarily have to be arrested to have your freedoms interfered with.

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LDS
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Re: This is news?

Just think about how long a site like The Register would survive in Moscow...

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Re: This is news?

Now you have got me really thinking does this mean that we could get rid of that revolting crowd with Red Ed and his friend Mr Up, the Balls who previously help empty the treasury we are all having to pay to refill - my tax went up twice as fast as income as my contribution to the repair bill.

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Re: This is news?

@Ossi The problem with laws that allow action without a court process is that you can be arrested without having made the comment at all. No fair right to appeal etc.

The UK government has had people dronestriked without a trial scrutinising the evidence, there is no protection against mistakes whatsoever. It is not OK in Russia and it is not OK in the UK either.

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Re: Vimes Re: This is news?

".....http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jun/15/green-party-peer-put-on-database-of-extremists-by-police...."

From the Wikipedia article on Jenny Jones: ".....After going through the process now available through the Data Protection Act to get the police report on herself, she found that she was labeled a potential "domestic extremist." She found that the report contained only publicly available information, such as tweets....." Hardly a case of spying, and nothing compared to what Pootie is enacting in Russia.

Jones' political career was saved by her being nominated a peer as she had lost het last election for London Mayor so badly she lost het deposit.

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Re: Vimes This is news?

Plus, she is a domestic extremist. She lives in this country and holds views which are beyond what most people in this country consider proportionate - in other words, extreme.

If the Greens were to resort to direct action, I have no doubt that she would be involved in some shape or form because of the extremity of her views and lifelong devotion to "the cause", and so I can totally understand why people monitoring domestic extremists would have her on their list.

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Re: Vimes This is news?

half the people posting here would last 5 fucking seconds in Russia with those laws. Visit British First to piss them off with a bit of logic on their facebook page? Doesn't matter! you posted there you must be part of them; off to Siberia you go.

Laugh at greenpeace doing daft things again? Nope, you must be a supporter comrade. Time for some social re-education.

Britain isn't that bad yet.

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Re: ...and it's much the same here.

I have lived under three dictatorships, and the difference between them and our "democracies" is a matter of degree. In every country, you must obey the law if you want to live free and unmolested. All governments line their own pockets and those of their pals. All governments bend the law to avoid being exposed in their misdeeds. And all governments, when push comes to shove, act as if they were above the law.

The USA and the UK have invaded far more nations, killed far more people, and destroyed far more property than Russia since the fall of the USSR. Moreover, they have displayed an infinitely greater contempt for international law - and even their own laws. Who held the Nuremberg Trials and announced the Nuremberg Principles? The USA and Britain, the same nations that utterly ignored them when attacking Serbia, Pakistan and Libya and invading Iraq and Afghanistan.

As for democracy, ask yourself how much actual political power you have. Every few years you are allowed to vote for an MP; however you vote, the new PM then passes whatever laws he or she wishes. If you don't like it, you can complain to your MP - let me know how that turns out for you. Meanwhile, you are obliged to pay taxes and comply with literally tens of thousands of laws, none of which you had any part in drafting. In practice, it's not all that different from living in a dictatorship.

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Re: Vimes This is news? @Danny 14

Britain isn't that bad yet.

I never claimed it was, but I equally don't think that we should wait for things to deteriorate that badly before we do anything about it.

Freedoms are easily lost and infinitely more difficult to win back.

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Re: Vimes This is news? @Matt Bryant

Also from the article:

The Met added that the domestic extremism database is maintained in accordance with a code of practice. It said it had recently deleted a large number of files on individuals after Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary found that there appeared to be no justification for keeping some records.

So an unspecified number of people have been put onto a list for an unspecified amount of time and they were only removed once an investigation took place (an investigation that for all we know was initiated for unrelated reasons and may not have taken place as a matter of course).

This doesn't concern you?

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FAIL

Re: Tom Welsh Re: ...and it's much the same here.

"I have lived under three dictatorships, and the difference between them and our "democracies" is a matter of degree...." Yeah, that's like saying the difference between being alive and healthy and being dead is a matter of degree - it's a very big matter of degree.

"......In every country, you must obey the law if you want to live free and unmolested....." And that is a bad thing how? Obeying the law is part of living in a society. Laws in the UK are set by either Parliament (voted in by democratic elections) or Brussels (mainly unelected bureaucrats) or the UN (a mix of democratic and despotic representatives, plus lots more bureaucrats). I can use my vote in the UK to effect changes in the democratic makeup of Parliament if I don't like the laws they pass; I can do bugger all with the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, voting for the MEP does SFA; and the despots and tyrants in the UN really don't care what anyone thinks. So, thanks, but I'm a lot happier with the UK's own system.

".....The USA and the UK have invaded far more nations, killed far more people, and destroyed far more property than Russia since the fall of the USSR....." Nice little qualifier there, did you not want to talk about the old USSR's efforts? Did you stop to think that the Russians have been busy oppressing their own (plus a lot of the old Soviet countries, like Chechnya) since the fall of the USSR?

".....Moreover, they have displayed an infinitely greater contempt for international law...." So, you want to compare the UN-mandated actions in Iraq with the unilateral Russian actions in Chechnya? How about the Russian invasion of Georgia, or their current meddling in the Ukraine?

"....Who held the Nuremberg Trials ...." The Allies, including Soviet Russia, based upon the signing of the London Charter (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Charter_of_the_International_Military_Tribunal).

".....The USA and Britain, the same nations that utterly ignored them when attacking Serbia, Pakistan and Libya and invading Iraq and Afghanistan......" You mean Russian-backed Serbia, which had been the dominant party in the post-War Yugolsavia constructed and oppressed by Soviet Russia? And when did the US or British invade Pakistan?!?! Libya was invaded by a multinational force under UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_1973). Soviet Russia had supplied not only the majority of Ghadafi's weapons during his reign, but also the components for his chemical weapon arsenal, plus helped him set up terrorist training camps for the PLO, IRA, ETA, etc., etc. And Afghanistan was invaded only after the Taliban refused to stop sheltering AQ, and was followed by the setting up of a democratic Afghani government. When the Sobiet Russians invaded they killed all opponents to their puppet government and then left no democratic system whatsoever! You really do need to read a lot more history.

".....the new PM then passes whatever laws he or she wishes...." I don't know what Third World Backwardistan you're posting from, but you obviously have no idea how laws are created or implemented in the UK. Our elected Parliament has to pass laws, by majority vote, and the PM can't pass just any law he likes (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_of_the_United_Kingdom#Legislative_functions).

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Re: Vimes This is news? @Matt Bryant

"....So an unspecified number of people have been put onto a list for an unspecified amount of time and they were only removed once an investigation took place (an investigation that for all we know was initiated for unrelated reasons and may not have taken place as a matter of course).

This doesn't concern you?" Nope. What terrible, awful calamities befell those on the list? None.

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Re: Tom Welsh ...and it's much the same here.

'"I have lived under three dictatorships, and the difference between them and our "democracies" is a matter of degree...." Yeah, that's like saying the difference between being alive and healthy and being dead is a matter of degree - it's a very big matter of degree.'

You clearly don't understand the meaning of "a matter of degree". The difference between being alive and being dead is exactly the opposite: it is a dichotomy. Either one or the other.

As for obeying the law, the point is that you (as a mere citizen) don't have any control over what laws are passed - any more than you would have in a dictatorship. You will no doubt point to your one vote in general elections; but that no more gives you real political influence than a single lottery ticket makes you a millionaire. In Nazi Germany and the USSR, people were oppressed and killed in accordance with the laws. The Nazis were elected to power through democratic elections - indeed, Hitler's democratic mandate was far greater than Blair's or Cameron's. What we have in the UK is an effective dictatorship in which the dictator is changed (perhaps) every few years, more or less at random, but always chosen from the golden circle of the elect.

With regard to Russia, you complain that I specified "since the fall of the USSR". Well, of course I did: Russia as a separate nation did not exist before that. Stalin, for example, the worst Soviet dictator, was Georgian. So it would be most unreasonable to tar Russia with Soviet crimes. As for "oppressing their own", you are trying to change the subject. I was talking about illegal wars of aggression, not domestic repression.

'So, you want to compare the UN-mandated actions in Iraq with the unilateral Russian actions in Chechnya? How about the Russian invasion of Georgia, or their current meddling in the Ukraine?'

Sorry, that's utter rubbish. "On March 20, 2003, a United States-organized coalition invaded Iraq, under the pretext that Iraq had failed to abandon its weapons of mass destruction program in violation of U.N. Resolution 687. This claim was based on documents provided by the CIA and British government[50] and were later found to be unreliable". (Wikipedia) An accurate synopsis, except that for "unreliable" one should read "a pack of barefaced, deliberate lies". The Russian action in Georgia, blatantly provoked by Washington, backfired spectacularly. "On August 7, 2008, Georgian forces began shelling the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali; this was followed, on August 8, 2008, by an advance of Georgian Army infantry, tanks, and police commandos into South Ossetia; the action was supported by artillery and air support,[42] leading to the capture of a number of key South Ossetian towns and retreat of Russian peacekeepers and South Ossetian forces.[43][44] However, after a Russian peacekeepers' base was shelled and personnel killed, units of the Russian 58th Army, supported by irregular forces, entered South Ossetia..." (Wikipedia). Note that the Georgians started the fighting and killed Russian peacekeepers. What would the USA have done under similar circumstances? I shudder to think. In the event, the Russians drove in rapidly, routed the Georgians, and quickly brought the "war" to a successful conclusion. As for the Ukraine, the only nation meddling there is the USA, which is known to have spent $5 billion to overthrow the elected government and replace it with a bunch of fascist murderers. The fascists have been resisted by Russians living in Ukraine, with neither material help nor encouragement from Russia - which, indeed, has moved its forces far back from the border to prevent any US-organized provocations.

To deal briefly with your other points, you place far too much emphasis on the creation of "democratic" government in Afghanistan. The Americans have caused just as much death and destruction there as the Soviets did, and have accomplished nothing else. The "democratic" government they imposed (candidates and voters chosen by the Americans, naturally) will not outlast their departure.

Contrary to your assertion, I understand the British constitution quite well. However, I describe it as it actually works, not as it is theoretically described in books and political speeches. Personally, I would prefer political parties to be illegal, forcing MPs to think through each issue on its merits. But that will never happen. As things stand, MPs could perfectly well be replaced by coloured tokens, with each party leader being given a number equal to the number of seats won at the general election. MPs virtually never vote against the whip, especially on matters of importance. (Otherwise we would never have gone to war in Iraq, as most of the people and most MPs knew perfectly well that the excuses were trumped-up lies).

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FAIL

Re: Tom Welsh ...and it's much the same here.

".....The difference between being alive and being dead is exactly the opposite: it is a dichotomy. Either one or the other...." Which is exactly the difference between the US and UK and whatever Backwardistan dictatorship you live in, thanks.

".....As for obeying the law, the point is that you (as a mere citizen) don't have any control over what laws are passed....." Not true. If a law upsets me enough I can take the government to court to try and get the law repealed, though I would have to provide some evidence of how it infringed on another superior law (such as EU human rights legislation). Or I could try and convince enough people of my point if view to vote out the party responsible. I am not 'powerless', it's just that I cannot force my opinion on the majority if they don't agree.

".....In Nazi Germany and the USSR, people were oppressed and killed in accordance with the laws......" In both cases, the governments concerned changed the laws to make opposition illegal. The Nazis did it after being democratically elected, the Bolsheviks simply by overthrowing the groups that had actually won the elections. In both cases the safeguards were removed. In the UK, any party attempting the same would need a massive majority of MPs that were willing to hide their real intent yet gather enough votes to gain a majority, then push all the new laws through Parliament and the House of Lords AND get the Queen's signature - just about impossible, given the freedom of the press here. Shriek and bleat your paranoid fantasies as loud as you like, they're just going to remain fantasies.

".....Sorry, that's utter rubbish...." Ignoring your amusing take on Georgia, I see you completely skipped over Chechnya. Did you forget how the Russians levelled Grozny?

".....Note that the Georgians started the fighting and killed Russian peacekeepers....." You mean the Russian troops fighting with the 'Ossetians' who were there in an attempt to stop the Georgian government re-establishing control over a piece of Georgian territory that had been seized by pro-Russian 'rebels' (aided by Russian 'volunteers')? Gosh, that doesn't sound at all like the current way Russia is trying to break off a chunk of the Ukraine - not! Try getting your news from somewhere other than Pootie's propaganda service, aka RT.

".....To deal briefly with your other points, you place far too much emphasis on the creation of "democratic" government in Afghanistan....." What, so you wanted the Allies to install a dictator? Sorry, outside of Backwardistan we do things differently, thanks.

".....candidates and voters chosen by the Americans, naturally....." If that was true then there is no way Kharzai would still be in power.

".....Contrary to your assertion, I understand the British constitution quite well. However, I describe it as it actually works...." Yeah, so where is that Facist government you insist should have been in power long ago? TBH, it is very obvious you know SFA about the UK, our laws or our Parliamentary system.

".....Personally, I would prefer political parties to be illegal, forcing MPs to think through each issue on its merits...." Duh! You think the political parties just magicked into existence? MPs with similar views banded together, it is obvious that the same would happen again if all parties were 'outlawed'.

".....Otherwise we would never have gone to war in Iraq, as most of the people and most MPs knew perfectly well that the excuses were trumped-up lies...." Go read and learn something before your next bout of bleating stupidity - http://www.iraqwatch.org

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Re: Tom Welsh ...and it's much the same here.

If anyone is seriously interested in learning the facts about the Ukraine situation, you couldn't do better for a brief summary than this:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/04/how-long-can-putin-wait/

The author was a senior official in Reagan's (Republican) administration.

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Re: Tom Welsh ...and it's much the same here.

"......The author was a senior official in Reagan's (Republican) administration." I didn't realise Paul Craig Roberts had started working for RT. oh, and he was just an Assistant Secretary at the Treasury, which is not a 'senior official'. Of course, it's not like Mr Roberts has been wrong before when spreading alarmist FUD about those that oppose Pootie's Big Plan for Soviet 2.0, not like his hysterical claims regarding the Ossetian events: "In an interview on August 27, 2008, on a broadcast of The Alex Jones Show, Roberts stated that he believed that influential neoconservatives affiliated with the George W. Bush administration were leading the United States into a nuclear confrontation with Russia over the situation in Georgia and South Ossetia. Roberts gave the conflict “almost total certainty if John McCain gets in office" and stated that the conflict would be in a timeframe of about two or three years." (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Craig_Roberts#South_Ossetia_War). Amongst other hilarious conspiracy theories supported by Mr Roberts, he also (wrongly) insisted that the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings on 9/11 'defied physics'. IMHO, the guy is a fruitcake.

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Facepalm

Oh, I see - so "Ye shall conform to 'Russian values' not because ye judge them worthy of being kept alive and passed on, but because if ye don't then it's 'we don't take kindly to your types around here' for you"? What a convincing argument, indeed. Shall we return to smuggling in Rolling Stones vinyls, Levi's blue jeans and Chicklets bubble gum too then...?

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Big Brother

The future has begun

kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick kick ...

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"to prevent erosion of traditional values."

Translation: to try to stop embarrassing information about the government officials, politicians, elite and friends of the elite from becoming public.

Something that our politicians here are looking at with envious eyes.

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Going out on a limb here...

With the assumption that you'll be able to post whatever you like as long as you're in Nashi.

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"Traditional Values"

That was enough for me, says it all.

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Brings to mind

HUAC The old House UnAmerican Activities Commitee and the Patriot Act

although the patriot Act gives its government more powers.

Legislating anything that removes basic freedoms in any country is wrong, even Tony Bliar's PC laws whether well intentioned or not are freedom limiting.

None of us live in a country where true Freedom of Speech exists.

" Under the spreading chestnut tree......"

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Vacations for everyone?

The are wonderful places in Siberia awaiting you.

I guess things have been too quiet and unemployment is high around the old camps lately... and, let's face it, Mr. "I'm a stud" Putin doesn't like anyone questioning him.

(Oh... I'm being extreme? Ok... Gitmo or Siberia? Send me to Gitmo, I can't handle the cold. )

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50% of the industries in Russia that are now owned by the state, up from a third in 1991. I expect Putin to start announcing "5 year plans" for industries, agricultural yields, and Russian automobiles.

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"5 year plans"... ...Russian automobiles

Seems to be about how long they last, unless they're fibreglass. Though Lada Nivas keep rolling with horrendous tinworm, if autotrader is to be believed.

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