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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

Friday, Nov. 28


Join table-top game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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