MOSCOW, March 1 (UPI) -- A new law took effect in Russia Tuesday giving police the right to take down Web sites without first obtaining a court order.
Word of the new law surfaced a week ago in a report by the Economic Development Ministry that said it was aimed at cracking down on copyright infringement, The Moscow Times reported.
The law provides officers with "an instrument to terminate the activity of Internet resources that infringe on Russian and international copyright law," the report said.
Industry representatives said police already had the power to shut down Web sites under existing legislation.
A spokeswoman for Agava hosting company told the Times in an e-mail that federal law on communication allows police to shut down Web sites on the written orders of a senior official of an investigative body.
Web sites have previously been closed for political reasons.