Russian 'Facebook' inadvertently put on Internet blacklist registry

May 24, 2013 at 7:39 PM
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MOSCOW, May 24 (UPI) -- VKontakte, a Facebook-like social networking site that is Russia's largest, was put on a state registry of blacklisted websites by mistake, officials said.

A spokesman for Russia's telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor said the site was mistakenly placed on a registry created by the Russian Parliament last summer intended for blacklisted websites containing what authorities deem "harmful content," RIA Novosti reported.

"This was a mistake. Our employee put a tick in the wrong place," Vladimir Pikov said Friday. "We will remove VKontakte from the registry and it should be accessible for everyone."

Often characterized as Russia's Facebook, VKontakte is used by around 40 million people daily.

Rights groups have condemned the registry as an attempt to crack down on Internet freedom, pointing out no court order is needed for a site to be placed on it and have its Internet access blocked.

Google and YouTube have temporarily had access blocked in the past by Roskomnadzor due to "technical errors," RIA Novosti reported.

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