Roskomnadzor Media Watchdog Unblocks Leading Russian Crypto News Outlet – Bits.media, which boasts the second-largest audience for crypto-related news in the Russian-speaking area, was able to convince Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media to remove Bits.media from its blacklist.
The agency, also known as Roskomnadzor, last week disabled access to the Bits.media website after adding an unknown number of pages to a list of websites that are known to be providers of information considered illegal in the Russian Federation.
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The action was taken as a result of a decision made by the Saratov Volzhsky District Court in a lawsuit that the local prosecutor’s office filed in late March. Less than a month later, after reviewing the case without the owners of the media outlet present, the judge granted the prosecutor’s request.
Some of the problematic URLs, which are those of other websites, were kept private. One of them, according to Bits.media, is the location of its cryptocurrency exchanger aggregator. It had to remove the page, and then the website’s access was restored by Russian internet service providers with permission from the media censor. Its staff thinks that the addresses of further aggregators or bitcoin exchangers are contained in the four more URLs indicated in the provincial court’s ruling.
The management of the crypto media, however, wants to put a stop to the matter because it maintains that blocking the address was illegal. Bits.media founder Ivan Tikhonov stated, “We believe the court’s judgment is unconstitutional and will seek its annulment.” He noted that the editorial team had chosen to turn off the aggregator page so that the remainder of the website would remain accessible throughout the proceedings.
Bits.media will receive aid from Digital Rights Center, a Russian law firm that specializes in giving legal support to internet users and businesses, in the impending efforts to overturn the Saratov court’s decision. Its attorneys were successful in getting the Bestchange.ru aggregator unblocked two years ago.
Since the circulation of cryptocurrencies was not and is still not illegal by Russian law, the company’s legal specialists were able to demonstrate that judicial officials had broken the law. Other successful instances in the DRC’s portfolio include unblocking the websites of the Bitcoininfo.ru portal and Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
Bits.media is not the only Russian-language source of information about cryptography that has recently come under attack. Early in April, Roskomnadzor imposed access restrictions on Forklog.com, the top source of cryptocurrency news updates in the Russian-speaking region. Similar to Bits.media, nothing was forewarned or explained before this occurred.
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According to Bits.media’s report, Forklog was blacklisted just days after the creators of the online edition condemned Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. Forklog is still blocked in Russia because, according to Roskomnadzor, it offers information that is prohibited from being distributed there.