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Russia accuses YouTube of censorship

Officials say the video giant is violating the country's constitution.
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Russia isn’t a country that supports free speech and the government has been known to engage in censorship on a countless number of occasions. But now the government itself is crying censorship.

According to Valery Fadeyev, who heads the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights (HRC), YouTube banning several Russian media channels is censorship, which is against the Russian constitution.

In July, the Google-owned video-sharing platform banned the channels of several Russian news outlets, including Crimea 24, Anna News, Tsargrad, and News Front.

“We must fight, and we must recognize that this is censorship and to proceed from this… And ensure that Google works within the framework of the Russian legislation. How can we do this? We need a plan, we need to discuss it with the State Duma and the Federation Council. This is the plan for such legal actions. The Council for Civil Society Development and Human Rights is, of course, ready to engage in such actions,” said Fadeyev during a meeting the threats Western tech giants pose to the digital sovereignty of Russia.

The HRC head proposed, forcing foreign tech companies operating in Russia to obey the nation’s laws to prevent such censorship.

Earlier, in August, Fadeyev sent an appeal with Google for the reinstatement of the blocked Russian news outlet’s channels. Google said it does not control YouTube services and could not provide more information on the banning.

Earlier today, a Russian senator confirmed that the Federation Council of Russia was planning to discuss YouTube’s blocking of the channels mentioned above.

“We are planning to discuss this issue in the Federation Council once the fall session starts,” said Andrei Klishas, who chairs the constitutional commission of Russia’s upper house (the equivalent of the US Senate). According to Klishas, representatives from the HRC and Google will take part in the discussion.

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