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Genachowski Criticizes Russian Web-Blocking Bill

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Friday that Russia's
new proposed Internet blacklist could endanger an open Internet.

In a statement on a new bill that gives the state the power
to blacklist websites by requiring Web hosts to block access to blacklisted
sites or be blacklisted themselves, Genachowski called it "a troubling and
dangerous direction."

According to a VOA report Friday, the bill was billed by
Russian officials as a way to protect kids from child porn and info about drug
use and suicide.

"I believe this legislation will stifle investment in
broadband and impede innovations that could advance Russia's promising Internet
economy," he said. "While protecting children online is a legitimate
governmental concern, the Duma's bill, in its current form, could lead to
restricting access to valuable Internet content and services and chilling
innovation, economic opportunity, as well as free expression."

Genachowski, the Obama Administration, Congress and others --
Commissioner Robert McDowell has been particularly vocal -- are already
concerned about Russia and other countries' efforts to secure more government
involvement in Internet governance.