MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s blacklisting of websites and prosecution of online users have dropped the country 10 places on an annual Internet freedom list, placing the state between Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Regarding the Internet, Russia is only a “partly free” country, ranking 41st out of 60 states considered in the “Freedom on the Net 2013” report by US-based human rights group Freedom House.
The organization said Russia’s lowered ranking was due in part to legislation adopted last year permitting the extrajudicial blacklisting of websites deemed to contain child pornography or advocate drug use or suicide.
“The number of legal restrictions against online users also increased over the past year, including an increase in the number of criminal prosecutions against online users, and the recriminalization of defamation through legislation passed by the State Duma,” the lower house of parliament, the report said.
Fellow former Soviet states Belarus, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan ranked lower than Russia. The last country was Iran. The countries with the most Internet freedom are Iceland, Estonia, Germany, the United States, Australia and France, according to the report.