Russia may block YouTube over anti-Islam video

September 18th, 2012 - 6:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 18 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia’s communications minister has warned that his country may block access to YouTube over the anti-Islam video that has sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.

Nikolai Nikiforov said on his Twitter account that the block may take place Nov 3, after a new law restricting internet access takes effect Nov 1.

The law is designed to protect children from internet pornography, but critics have assailed it as a move to dampen dissent.

The Prosecutor General’s Office has declared the film, “Innocence of Muslims”, to be extremist and will seek a court ruling to ban the video in Russia, its spokeswoman said.

It has instructed the federal mass communications watchdog “to take measures to prevent media distribution of the information contained in this film”.

The watchdog has already recommended that Russian internet providers block access to the film.

Senator Ruslan Gattarov who filed a request to the Prosecutor General’s Office asking to prohibit the online demonstration of the film, compared the film to “child pornography” in his own Twitter blog.

“Obviously, the purpose of this film’s promoters is a religious split of the society, which can have far-reaching consequences,” said Gattarov.

The 14-minute trailer to “Innocence of Muslims” was originally posted on YouTube last June. It attracted little attention until Sep 8, when portions of the trailer were broadcast by a television network in Egypt.

Google, which owns YouTube, has denied a request from the US government to remove the video, saying it does not violate the website’s terms of use.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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