Russian Authorities Vow to 'Protect Student Campuses From Internet Porn'
MOSCOW — Moscow City Hall is planning to equip all the city’s universities and campuses with free Wi-Fi, with a damper of a catch — filters will be applied to strain out all pornographic material.
According to “Russia Today,” officials plan to provide free Wi-Fi to 143 campuses that house about 85,000 students, in addition to all Moscow state-run institutes and universities. The project will cost about 705 million rubles, which is equivalent to $20 million.
If you’ve been keeping up with Russia’s ongoing conservative legislation curbing freedom of expression — including bans on the use of profanity on all media platforms and the inclusion of Moscow’s coat of arms in adult or profane scenarios — the announcement will come as no surprise.
In addition to an explicit exclusion of porn, providers will also be required to prohibit access to P2P protocols used by torrent sharing programs and protocols used in online games, and any data that “denies family values and justifies unlawful behavior.” Can you hear the Orwellian sirens?
Sergey Komkov, head of the All-Russian Education Foundation, said that he supported the initiative and the filters. Others remained skeptical, including the plenipotentiary for students’ rights, Artyom Khromov.
“Professors say that when students get unlimited access to the internet they will spend all their time on forbidden websites. But students knew how to distract themselves from studies even before the internet was invented,” Khromov said.