Russia blocks access to Facebook and Twitter

Russia has completely blocked access to Facebook in retaliation for the platform placing restrictions on state-owned media.

The Russian state communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, later said it had also restricted access to Twitter.

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BBC website blocked in Russia as shortwave radio brought back to cover Ukraine war
Access to BBC websites has been restricted in Russia, hours after the corporation brought back its shortwave radio service in Ukraine and Russia to ensure civilians in both countries can access news during the invasion.

State communications watchdog Roskomnadzor restricted access to BBC Russia’s online presence, as well as Radio Liberty and the Meduza media outlet, the state-owned Russian RIA news agency reported on Friday.

Facebook hits out at Russia blocking its platforms
Facebook has hit out at a ban on its platforms introduced in Russia on Friday amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Russia’s communications regulator said the ban was a response to restrictions placed on its media there.

It said there had been 26 cases of “discrimination” against Russian media by Facebook since October 2020.

BBC News launches ‘dark web’ Tor mirror
The BBC has made its international news website available via the Tor network, in a bid to thwart censorship attempts.

The Tor browser is privacy-focused software used to access the dark web.

The browser can obscure who is using it and what data is being accessed, which can help people avoid government surveillance and censorship.

Russia blocks Facebook inside the country, as the Kremlin moves to stifle dissent.
Facebook on Friday became the first American tech giant to be blocked by the Russian government, as part of the Kremlin’s broadening campaign to tighten control of the internet and limit spaces for dissent about the war in Ukraine.

The move could foreshadow further restrictions against other tech companies such as Google, which owns YouTube, and Twitter. Both have also been under pressure by the Russian government.

Roskomnadzor, Russia’s internet regulator, said in a statement that Facebook would be blocked for what it said were 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media. It also cited Facebook’s steps to restrict Russian media outlets including Zvezda, RIA Novosti, Sputnik, Russia Today, and

Russia Takes Censorship to New Extremes, Stifling War Coverage
Russia clamped down harder Friday on news and free speech than at any time in President Vladimir V. Putin’s 22 years in power, blocking access to Facebook and major foreign news outlets, and enacting a law to punish anyone spreading “false information” about its Ukraine invasion with up to 15 years in prison.

The crackdown comes as the Kremlin scrambles to contain discontent over the war and to control the narrative as Russia faces its most severe economic crisis in decades as a result of this week’s crushing Western sanctions. Fearing prosecution, more independent Russian news outlets shut down on Friday, and the BBC said it had suspended all of its operations in Russia.

Last Vestiges of Russia’s Free Press Fall Under Kremlin Pressure
As President Vladimir V. Putin wages war against Ukraine, he is fighting a parallel battle on the home front, dismantling the last vestiges of a Russian free press.

On Thursday, the pillars of Russia’s independent broadcast media collapsed under pressure from the state. Echo of Moscow, the freewheeling radio station founded by Soviet dissidents in 1990 and that symbolized Russia’s new freedoms, was “liquidated” by its board. TV Rain, the youthful independent television station that calls itself “the optimistic channel” said it would suspend operations indefinitely.

Western news outlets curb reporting, broadcasts in Russia as Putin signs law cracking down on Ukraine coverage
Several major media organizations said Friday that they would limit activity in Russia, hours after President Vladimir Putin signed a measure into law criminalizing news coverage that accurately portrays the country’s bloody incursion into Ukraine as an “invasion.”

Bloomberg said it will “temporarily suspend our news gathering inside Russia,” according to a statement from Editor in Chief John Micklethwait. “The change to the criminal code, which seems designed to turn any independent reporter into a criminal purely by association, makes it impossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism inside the country.”

Putin’s Digital Aggression Is Backfiring in Ukraine
The Russian blitzkrieg in Ukraine has not gone according to plan. While force of arms might ultimately prevail in an unequal match, Putin’s old-fashioned industrial-age war of steel, iron and blood has met ferocious resistance from the Ukrainian military.

The accompanying Russian disinformation or propaganda campaign has also badly floundered. To conduct disinformation in a wired world requires a degree of sophistication, fluidity and cleverness that the Russians have been unable to demonstrate, leaving them to face global condemnation for what Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations Bob Rae rightly described as a “grotesque” war crime.

Why the World Must Resist Calls to Undermine the Internet
It seems that every time there is a large political event in the world, someone calls for someone else to be excluded from the Internet. The latest call to cut people off comes in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Internet Society must resist these calls, no matter how tempting. The Internet remains our best hope to communicate among the peoples of the world.

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