Russia: the home shirtless autocrats, vodka and a love of free speech rivaled by only China. The Kremlin is taking another step to squash people speaking their mind online. After building out an infrastructure that allows the government to more easily block sites it finds objectionable, now it’s building a registry of bloggers.
A newly approved law requires anyone who authors a blog in the country to “declare their family name and initials and e-mail address.” To make matters worse, if someone’s personal blog has more than 3,000 visitors per-day, they’ll have to put their names on a special list and abide by a particularly onerous set of restrictions — the same set of restrictions that many mass media outlets must obey. If they violate those laws, they’ll be subject to fines or even have their site suspended for a period of time.