Russia’s mass media regulator, Roskomnadzor, has restored access to a major Russian crypto news portal. Bits.media was recently blocked as a result of proceedings in a regional court that its representatives were not even called to appear.
Crypto News Site Bits.media Is Again Available to Russian Readers Because Roskomnadzor Delists It
Bits.media, the source of crypto-related news with the second largest audience in the Russian-speaking region, has managed to get its blacklisting revoked by Russia’s Federal Service for the Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media.
Roskomnadzor, as the agency is also known, blocked access to the Bits.media website last week, after adding an unspecified number of pages to a register of Internet sources for the dissemination of information considered prohibited in the Russian Federation. .
The measure was imposed on the basis of the decision of the Volzhsky District Court in the city of Saratov in a trial initiated by the local prosecutor’s office in late March. The judge granted the prosecutor’s request less than a month after considering the case in the absence of the media outlet owners.
The problematic URLs, some of which are related to other websites, were not made public. Bits.media established that one of them is the address of its crypto exchanger aggregator. It had to remove the page, after which media censors allowed Russian Internet providers to restore access to the website. Its team believes that the four other links mentioned in the provincial court ruling are addresses of other aggregators or cryptocurrency exchangers.
Crypto Media’s management intends to end the case, however, insisting that the address was blocked against the law. Ivan Tikhonov, founder of Bits.media, said: “We consider the court’s decision to be illegal and will seek its quashing.” He explained that the editorial staff has decided to deactivate the aggregator page so that the rest of the site remains online during the proceedings.
In upcoming efforts to overturn the Saratov court ruling, Bits.media will be backed by the Digital Rights Center, a Russian law firm specializing in providing legal aid to Internet users and businesses. Two years ago, its lawyers unblocked the Bestchange.ru aggregator.
The company’s legal experts were able to prove that judicial authorities had committed violations because the circulation of cryptocurrencies was not, and is not yet prohibited, by existing Russian legislation. There are other successful cases in the DRC’s portfolio, including the unblocking of websites of the Bitcoininfo.ru portal and Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange.
Bits.media isn’t the only Russian-language source for recently targeted crypto-related information. In early April, Roskomnadzor restricted access to Forklog.com, the leading provider of crypto news updates in the Russian-speaking region. Just like with Bits.media, this happened without any prior warning or explanation.
Forklog’s blacklisting came just days after the editors of the online edition condemned Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, Bits.media noted in its report. ForkLog is blocked in Russia so far because, according to Roskomnadzor, it presents information, the distribution of which is restricted in Russia.
What are your thoughts on blocking Bits.media, Forklog and other crypto websites in Russia? Tell us in the comments section below.
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