Backbytes: First, they came for the bloggers...

By Backbytes
01 Aug 2014 View Comments
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When Sir Brian Henry Leveson's plans for press regulation were first proposed in 2013, it included wording so vague that even a common-or-garden blogger would be encompassed in the regulation.

Of course, said Leveson and his supporters, they wouldn't really be treated the same as any other media outlet. No, it was only intended for the likes of The Sun (boo, hiss)...

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However, it seems that idea was closely watched in Russia, where bloggers with more than 3,000 daily readers will now be obliged to register with Roskomnadzor, the country's media regulator, and to conform to the same regulations that the major media in Russia - all almost entirely owned and run by the government - are subject to.

Bloggers who fail to identify themselves and register with the authorities could be whacked with fines of up to 500,000 rubles (£8,500).

The law also makes online anonymity for bloggers illegal, and will effectively mean that opposition politicians, who use internet blogs to communicate with the electorate, will have their communications controlled by the government.

Roskomnadzor already has a list of six people it believes fall under the definition of popular blogger, according to Iszestia.

These include comedian Mikhail Galustyan, photographer Sergey Dolya, journalist Dmitry Chernyshev, writer and politician Eduard Limonov, and the writer Boris Akunin, who also uses his blog for the heinous act of spreading "liberal opposition views", according to Russia Today.

There are, no doubt, many people in the UK who would approve of such a law over here: especially its provisions banning bloggers from using obscene language and "hate speech", and making online slander a criminal offence.

Well, President Vladimir Putin wouldn't want people speculating about the provenance of his immense wealth, would he

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