MOSCOW, November 26 (RIA Novosti) - Internet giant Google’s IP address was temporarily blacklisted for the second time over the weekend due to a computer glitch, Russian media and communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said on Monday.
“There was a software failure. The system incorrectly identified the host provider’s address. So the notification went out to the wrong address,” Roskomnadzor press secretary Vladimir Pikov said, adding the mistake was promptly fixed.
One of Google’s resources contained banned materials and the case will soon be reviewed again, he said.
According to the watchdog’s register, IP address 18.104.22.168 was put on the blacklist (zapret-info.gov.ru) on Saturday and removed at 11 a.m. Moscow time on Monday.
Last Wednesday, the URL of YouTube, the video-sharing website owned by Google, was temporarily blacklisted due to “a technical problem,” Roskomnadzor said at the time.
YouTube was put on the blacklist and had three days to remove what Roskomnadzor said was “suicide promotion” content. Failure to do that would have led to YouTube’s blocking across Russia.
In early November, Roskomnadzor blacklisted over 180 websites over offensive content.
A law creating a register of blacklisted websites, that aims to protect Russians from harmful content, was approved by the Russian parliament in July.
Under this law, the authorities can now block access to sites containing child pornography, drug-related material and details about how to commit suicide without first having to obtain a court order or go to court.
Other sites containing offensive material can be shut down by court order.
The agency launched its register of blacklisted sites on November 1.
Its site reviews complaints lodged by members of the public, who can submit screenshots and URLs of offending sites. In the first 24 hours of its existence, zapret-info.gov.ru logged over 5,000 complaints of offensive content, 96 percent of which were rejected.
Rights groups condemned the move as an attempt to crack down on internet freedom.
Google and YouTube have formally agreed “to receive information from the register regarding content banned in Russia,” the watchdog said.