Russia has added one more stone to the pile atop any freedom of the press in that country. Bloggers, Twitter and VF (the Russian Facebook) have all come under intense regulation in recent years, but legislation recently approved by Vladmir Putin could see a citizen receiving jail time for something as simple as a post or a retweet. Aimed at curtailing incitement to religious hatred or “extremism,” the law allows prosecutors to charge anyone who reposts material that the authorities deem illegal, with penalties including up to five years in prison.
The law is ostensibly aimed at Islamist terrorist groups and homegrown neo-Nazis, but will likely be used in the government’s continuing campaign against an open Internet (which Putin referred to as a “CIA project” back in April). Reports suggest that Russia has blocked 185 sites this year for their supposed “extremism.” Many of these sites were related not to radical Islam or national socialism, but to opposition political figures.
Related: Is Putin Afraid to Tweet?