Russian authorities have restricted access to a couple of cryptocurrency news outlets. The formal reasons for the censorship move are different in each case but the end result is the same. In both, regulators have acted on the basis of a law that empowers them to block online sources of information that have been banned in the Russian Federation.
Moscow Restricts Access to Cointelegraph and Coinspot
The restrictive measures have been imposed against Cointelegraph, a global information source about the latest developments in the crypto space, and Coinspot, a Russian language portal spreading news and other useful information about decentralized digital currencies, fintech trends and financial innovations. Both have been blocked for readers in Russia, starting from October 16.
The formal reason in the case with Cointelegraph is a request from Russia’s Federal Tax Service filed on Dec. 25, 2017. The outlet explained that although Cointelegraph was blacklisted almost two years ago, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) technically implemented the ban only this week. It remains unclear why it took the watchdog so long to act.
Cointelegraph quoted the developer of a Russian anticensorship browser extension who, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the block, noting that the website’s URL has been added to the blacklist file Roskomnadzor emails to internet service providers. However, it seems not all of them have updated their databases at this point as the website is still available to some users in the country.
The other affected news outlet, Coinspot, has been blocked at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office of Danilovsky District in Volgograd region,