Russian government announced software for control of Internet content


The Russian Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) announced the contest for developers of software which control online media publications. The goal of this software is automatically exposure of characters of legislation violations in publications of online media and in comments to these publications made by internet users.

The need to implement the system is caused by the provisions of the mass media law act and resolution of the plenum of The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, according to which media should remove or edit illegal readers’ comments only after their detection by Roskomnadzor and the appropriate treatment of this department in the editorial office. It’s difficult to exercise effective control over the texts of the reader’s comments posted on the pages of online media without special software. According to Supreme Court when considering the admissibility of revision to the responsibility of the courts should find out, whether there have been Roskomnadzor demands for the removal of reader’s comments, as well as whether produced removal or editing of information, in connection with the distribution of which before the court raised the question of attracting wording to responsibility.

With the introduction of the new system Roskomnadzor, which is currently involved in the monitoring of online media manually (using publicly available tools internet search), expects to increase the efficiency of response to violations of the existing legislation on mass media. It is assumed that the materials will be checked as to the compliance with formal requirements, as well as on the search for non- obvious signs of violations of the law, namely calls for terrorist activity or violent change of the foundations of the constitutional system; the materials stimulating racial, social, national or religious strife etc. Software-hardware complex shall also inform operators on the use of the files and programs of visualization texts published in the mass media, the hidden spots and other technical methods and ways of disseminating information, influencing the subconscious of the people and (or) rendering harmful influence on their health.

Trial against social network in Russia

Vital problem of media industry in Russia also is the question of responsibility of owners of internet sites where users place the photo- and video data in infringement of the copyright rules. The given problem had the practical embodiment with reference to judicial suit between a social network «VKontakte» (Russian social network similar to Facebook) and the Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company concerning placing on a site film «Hunting for a Piranha».

The Highest State Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation (HSAC) in March, 2011 has made the important decision for the Russian internet industry. HSAC has refused to reconsider the decision of cassation instance on the given case. The court of the first instance has decided that Vkontake does not bear responsibility for actions of users, court of second, appellation instance has sided Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, however the court of third, cassation instance has taken of a position of the first instance court. Thus, the loudest suit about internet content in Russia is finished. It is recognized that social network VKontakte has carried out of all obligations to legal owners, having warned users about responsibility after the complaint of the legal owner and having removed a film which placing breaks copyrights.

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