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Thread: End to our freedom of expression

  1. #1
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    End to our freedom of expression

    http://en.gazeta.ru/news/2012/08/29/a_4742245.shtml

    "The ruling United Russia party is working on new amendments to the recently reintroduced slander law which will enable punishment of those who criticize authorities on the Internet, "Nezavisimaya" newspaper wrote on Wednesday.

    "The Kremlin is worried about tough criticism of its leaders online. Such [critical] comments are made by journalists, too, who stick to the laws in their newspapers, but allow too much online," an unnamed source close to the administration said to the paper.

    State Duma Vice Speaker Sergey Zheleznyak said that the issue would be solved "through amendments which would allow us to identify those who commit crimes online by hiding under anonymity.""


    In the last half year and over, I have been wondering about when and how the expected crackdown on free-speech would hit this very forum.

    It seems that finally we got hit.

    The Expat.ru forum has always been open to views. As this community serves a wide range of people with many different backgrounds and, logically, different opinions, we have tried to give all opinions a place. The Expat.ru forum doesn't advocate or endorse any specific opinion. We try to give any opinion a place here, without prior censorship, without prejudice. Surely, this sometimes leads to discussions or even scandals, but generally, I think we are a peaceful community that values discussion, exchanges of thoughts, over any moral verdicts. I hope you share this analysis.
    q
    All members of Expat.ru are here under "anonymous" names. Actually, our forum rules ask you to stick to your "virtual" identity and discourage disclosure of personal information.

    Criticizing the Russian government happens a lot on this forum. In the same way, other governments are being criticized. I see that as something that is totally acceptable: every opinion should get a chance to be expressed.

    I always thought of this forum to be a rather innocent platform for exchanging opinions. And criticizing politicians, who have a public role and should be ready to deal with criticism, would be a normal part of daily practice. And I still think that this community is an asset, not only to its members, but also to the others that watch it. And, clearly, the current regime is watching us, as it has been forever.

    We're now faced with a situation in which any criticism of the government is made punishable. Even if you hide behind an anonymous ID

    It seems our freedom of speech is going to be limited by people that don't have a proper clue but just want to shut up dissident noises.

    That is bad news and I'm not sure how to deal with it... Suggestions welcome!
    We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezik View Post
    ... We're now faced with a situation in which any criticism of the government is made punishable. Even if you hide behind an anonymous ID

    Even me here in Telford, PA USA



    Life is tough pilgrim, it's even tougher if you're stupid


  3. #3
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    Hmm... well, my experience with Russian bureaucracy/government anything is that they're so slow to catch on to things I doubt an expat-dominated non-Russian language forum would be looked at quickly...I can't think of anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ezik View Post
    ... It seems our freedom of speech (in Russia) is going to be limited by people that don't have a proper clue but just want to shut up dissident noises.

    That is bad news and I'm not sure how to deal with it... Suggestions welcome!

    ... I don't usually put "Russia" and "free speech" in the same sentence.

    That said, citizen or not, one should obey a nation's laws. I'm assuming there is some legality involved with these newer so-called freedom of speech contraints ? Or is this simply thuggery by the relatives of the KGB

    I suppose from a pragmatic point, the admins/mods must be be vigilant and immediately ban any offender

    But who is "the offender" ? Or as The Rusmeister would say, "Define offender". Is s/he the poster ? The expat.ru website ? The ISP ? What is the penalty - a platzkart ride to Siberia - 9 grams

    At any rate, I'm not particularly virulent as some are, so this doesn't really affect me one way or the other.

    **Robert peeks out window and locks & loads**





    Life is tough pilgrim, it's even tougher if you're stupid


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BabyFirefly View Post
    Hmm... well, my experience with Russian bureaucracy/government anything is that they're so slow to catch on to things I doubt an expat-dominated non-Russian language forum would be looked at quickly...I can't think of anything else.
    Shiatttttttttttt the xenophobic Russians will look at the foreigners f-i-r-s-t




    Life is tough pilgrim, it's even tougher if you're stupid


  6. #6
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    Also, I don't think it's actually possible for "them" to go after every single person posting against them. I think this would be more directed at websites actually dedicated to this or bloggers who constantly post "offensive" political stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BabyFirefly View Post
    Also, I don't think it's actually possible for "them" to go after every single person posting against them.

    moustaches, for example, managed to pretty much do just that



    Life is tough pilgrim, it's even tougher if you're stupid


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    Suggestions welcome!
    I think soon it will be time to hit the streets, I am ready for this moment. Also I think Russians invented the Molotov cocktail for a reason...

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNCrSsR_nkA&feature=related"]Molotov Cocktail V. Old Shed - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us8tZB5dcJ0&feature=related"]Conce Style - YouTube[/ame]

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BabyFirefly View Post
    Hmm... well, my experience with Russian bureaucracy/government anything is that they're so slow to catch on to things I doubt an expat-dominated non-Russian language forum would be looked at quickly...I can't think of anything else.
    Perhaps so. Who will certainly catch on quickly are the educated & skilled.

    They are now used to some internet freedoms and will vamoose|leave right down the brain drain hole.



    Life is tough pilgrim, it's even tougher if you're stupid


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    PutinbadRussiabadPutinPutinPutinFreePussyRiotPutinPutinAmericalovePutinPutinEvilPutinPutinDumaKGBKirilPutinPutinPutin.
    cured

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by yakspeare View Post
    PutinbadRussiabadPutinPutinPutinFreePussyRiotPutinPutinAmericalovePutinPutinEvilPutinPutinDumaKGBKirilPutinPutinPutin.
    America Love Putin!!!

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  13. #13
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    PutinbadRussiabadPutinPutinPutinFreePussyRiotPutinPutinAmericalovePutinPutinEvilPutinPutinDumaKGBKirilPutinPutinPutin.



    Life is tough pilgrim, it's even tougher if you're stupid


  14. #14
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    Well guys, I think tyranny is bad, too.

    Yes, we should define terms and assumptions. Freedom without borders IS anarchy, but we certainly want freedom within limits. Criticism of a government ought to be allowed within reason, and if it is not then we have genuine oppression. Foreigners should necessarily have less right to criticize a government than native citizens, but the latter should certainly have a great deal of freedom to determine the form of their government and criticize its actions.

    That is different, of course, from "freedom" to express anything at all, the kind of "freedom" that is claimed for TV violence and so on.

    Those who identify the Church with the government are sadly mistaken. We remember too well a government that arrested, tortured and killed citizens on mere pretext of criticism, and do not support infinite power of the givernment over its citizens.

    But in the end, there's not a whole heckuva lot we can do about it. I'm more vulnerable than most; I've burned my bridges and have nowhere to return to. When the government goes bad I'll appeal to God, and have faith that, even if my "appeal" is not satisfied immediately or as I would like, that ultimately justice will be done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ezik View Post
    That is bad news and I'm not sure how to deal with it... Suggestions welcome!
    Knowing authorities going after anybody over minor stuff is very possible. Recently Duma passed the legistation banning public gathering which was originally designed to prevent political protests against Putin. They're using it for any unsanctioned public gathering as well. They're charging people for illegal public gathering such as extreme rope-jump in Vladivostok. On June 14, organizers were forced to cancel a yearly bike ride in Murmansk after police warned them that they could face punishment for not requesting authorization in advance. Roughly two weeks later, St. Petersburg police broke up an event commemorating pop icon Michael Jackson near the U.S. Consulate, citing the same law.

    I'm afraid that Expat.ru and other expat sites are no exception to the proposed law.

    The only solution I could propose that expat.ru site be effectively relocated outside of Russia to protect the anonymity of the users and authorities won't be able to raid the server to collect IP addresses of anonymous users. I don't know how much authorities knows about us since I'm sure this site is being monitored.

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