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A less than internet savvy judge

I think people could be forgiven for not having heard of Khakassia, a Russian Federation republic and located in south central Siberia. Anyway, it looks as though the Khakassian judiciary is perhaps not as au fait with cyberspace and its ramifications as it could be, as the Moscow Times reports on the judicially vexing issue of just what is a web site, and how it might be confiscated.

Mikhail Afanasyev, owner of the Novy Focus site, ran foul of the law as he posted new items without having registered it as a news organisation. And here is where it gets silly:

"On Wednesday, Judge Svetlana Shapovalova addressed the question of what an Internet web site is and how it can be confiscated. A representative of a local Internet company that provided Afanasyev with Internet access proposed that the site's content be copied onto a compact disk and handed over to officials, and the original content on the server destroyed, said Irina Khrunova, Afanasyev's lawyer. "But it is clear that this does not preclude me from restoring the web site content from a backup, which I have already done several times when my site was shut down," Afanasyev said".

As of today, Khakasia.info is still there, and given that the writer has won the Andrei Sakharov journalism prize, I think it fair to say he is a serious individual who deserves our support.

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Anonymous Anonymous said... 11:00 am

Perhaps the solution might be for some friendly souls to create a mirror of the site outside the Russian jurisidiction.

This has been done in the past with sites threatened with legal closure - the amount of work involved in chasing the mirrors eventually led the lawyers to admit defeat.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 7:03 pm

Good point Wibble, although it looks like Mikhail Afanasyev is running rings around the Khakassian powers that be on his own.  



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