Russian Appellate Court Cancels Decision to Block Tor Project’s Website – A Russian court of appeals has overturned a regional court ruling that permitted the Tor Project’s website to be blocked in the country. The case has indeed been returned to the court of first instance for further review due to violations during the first procedures.
The regional court’s order to block torproject.org was overturned due to procedural violations, primarily the failure to summon the owner, Roskomsvoboda reported this week. Lawyers from a non-governmental group dedicated to protecting the rights of Russian internet users were involved in the case, which has been sent to the Saratov region’s first instance court.
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The Tor Project’s website was prohibited in December 2017 by a Saratov District Court order dated December 18, 2017. Ekaterina Abashina of Roskomsvoboda’s legal team attended the online session in the appellate court. Torproject.org should be unblocked now that the district court’s decision has been overturned, she said.
The defense had two key arguments to dispute the initial decision, according to Abashina. First and foremost, the absence of the platform representative at the hearings had an impact on the owner’s rights and obligations. Then, the dissemination of information about VPN technology and anonymizers is not currently prohibited under Russian law.
The prosecutor did not respond to the lawyers’ complaint in writing, but instead made a verbal objection. According to Abashina, Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media watchdog, filed a written response stating the court had unrestricted rights to identify any information as prohibited.
According to the legal expert, Russian officials want to block access to the website since instructions on how to download the privacy-focused Tor browser were provided.
Ekaterina Abashina expects the new proceedings to start within a month and sincerely hope that the court of first instance considers Roskomsvoboda’s second point, that the dissemination of information about technologies like Tor is not prohibited in the Russian Federation, as well as attempts to summon the website’s owner as required by law.
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Russian Appellate Court Cancels Decision to Block Tor Project’s Website – Russian authorities have targeted sites that disseminate beneficial information and provide services to the crypto community in recent years. A court in Russia’s Perm region decided in June to shut down a number of platforms that explained how to convert cryptocurrencies for fiat money.
Roskomnadzor took steps in December to block six VPN providers from assisting Russians in accessing restricted information. In Russian courts, several operators have successfully challenged these measures.