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Kremlin's Internet Walls Will Rival China's

Published: July 3, 2014 (Issue # 1818)




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How can you spot a pedophile? Just ask Russian Duma Deputy Yelena Mizulina. She knows: a pedophile always has an iPhone.

On July 2 Mizulina surprised many people when she called an iPhone a device used to commit depraved actions against children. Mizulina made the statement at a meeting of the Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children, a committee which she heads.

Mizulina has long been famous for her strange views on pedophilia, homosexuality and the Internet. For example, she said that the phrase "gays are people too" was "potentially extremist." After that statement, more than 100,000 people signed a petition sent to the State Duma requesting that Mizulina undergo a psychiatric examination.

But Duma deputies make so many strange statements that they've lost their ability to shock. Not long ago a group of deputies proposed the idea of a draft law officially banning high-heeled shoes. The authors of this draft law said they were concerned about women's health. But bloggers circulated the humorous suggestion that they were simply trying to bring Russian legislation in line with fictional Lilliputian legislation, which, according to author Jonathan Swift, banned high-heeled shoes in court. To the relief of Russian women, the proposal did not make it to the stage of draft legislation.

On the other hand, on July 1 in Russia a ban on the sale of lace panties went into effect, which undoubtedly has made even the Iranian clergy writhe with envy.

However, in contrast with the strange ideas of other deputies, Mizulina's proposals have one special characteristic: sooner or later they always turn into laws. Her draft law banning "propaganda of homosexuality" also seemed outrageous at first, especially since it directly violates the Constitution. But, regardless of this fact, her proposal became law last summer, even though it deprives the LGBT community of public protection of their rights.

Given Mizulina's track record, the Russian blogosphere immediately became alarmed when she put forth a new idea for legislation. There's cause for concern. Mizulina's plan is for Internet-users in the Russian Federation to get a filtered version of the Internet by default. Mizulina calls this filtered version "clean Internet." Providers would use filters with automatic program algorithms to block sites.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 17


AmCham’s Investment and Legal Committee Meeting convenes this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center at 9 a.m.


Learn more about the science of teaching English at today’s EFL Seminar hosted by the British Book Center. Revolving around the topic of learning styles, the workshop will help attendees better understand the different effective learning methods that can be implemented to learn English more effectively.



Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburg’s answer to the United States’ popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genre’s authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBA’s newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is “Handmade in Germany,” an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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