MOSCOW, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Russia's telecommunications watchdog said it has blacklisted more than 180 websites for offensive content and will block access to the sites within Russia.
The Roskomnadzor agency, operating under a law approved by the Russian parliament in July, is creating a register of blacklisted websites that aims to protect Russians from harmful content, RIA Novosti reported Friday.
"Our experts are working hard and today more than 180 websites have been added to the register," Roskomnadzor chief Aleksandr Zharov said.
The agency said it is examining a further 6,000 complaints about offensive content by members of the public, who can submit screenshots and URLs of the offending sites.
Under the law, authorities can block access to sites containing child porn, drug-related material and details about how to commit suicide without needing to obtain a court order.
Rights groups have condemned to law and the register as an attempt to crack down on Internet freedom.