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28 Jul, 2010 09:56

Russian court ruling bans YouTube

A court in Russia's Far East has banned access to YouTube, accusing the video sharing site of hosting extremist ideology.

A court in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur obliged the local Internet provider Rosnet to limit access to five websites, which included YouTube, Lenta.ru reported.

The video-hosting site has come under fire for a video titled Russia for Russians which, according to judges, contains extremist elements.

Other banned websites had electronic versions of Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, branded extremist and prohibited in Russia.

According to Rosnet owner Aleksandr Ermakov, the court decision is absurd.

“These decisions should not be taken by a court,” he said. “All of mankind is using this website. And providers like ours do not violate Russian law. But we are still being forced to close the website so that our users can not log on and watch the videos. This is absurd!”

“According to this logic, we have to demolish all buildings that have swastikas on the walls. Or when two people are discussing a bomb over the phone, we have to take away the phones from all people across Russia,” Ermakov added.

According to journalist Ivan Zasursky, it is not web content that should be subject to control.

”In my view, any kind of content can be allowed to be hosted anywhere, because content by itself does not make things happen,” he said. “Content is there for people to see, and people who view the content are the ones that, under law, are responsible for their actions.”

“The point of control should not be the web, it should be the people as responsible citizens that, under the law, should act in a proper way,” Zasursky added.