Russia shuts 90 websites over child pornography

Moscow, Feb 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) More than 90 websites registered in Russia have been closed so far in 2013 for containing child pornography, the interior ministry said.

"We have shut down over 90 websites in Russia for the dissemination of illicit content. Those are the websites that have been confirmed as carrying child pornography," Tatyana Shishova, a spokesperson for the Interpol National Central Bureau at the interior ministry said at an Internet security conference Monday at RIA Novosti.

According to the ministry, the amount of child pornography on Russian internet websites has risen 12-fold in the last four years. Russia's human rights officials claim that the country has become the second largest producer of internet child pornography in the world after the US.

Over 550 such crimes were registered in Russia last year prompting the ministry to launch a large-scale operation, codename "Weed", to combat child pornography on the internet in cooperation with police in over 50 countries.

In 2012, the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, passed a bill that authorized the creation of a blacklist of Internet sites containing alleged child pornography, drug-related material, extremist material, and other content illegal in Russia.

Some critics expressed concern that the new law could be used to censor the internet.

--IANS/RIA Novosti



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