Russia Blocks Top Cryptocurrency Website ‘Bits Media,’ Site Inaccessible in the Country

Vinod Dsouza
russia bitcoin btc cryptocurrency
Source: Pixabay

Bits Media,’ Russia’s top cryptocurrency news website, was blocked by Russian telecom and mass media censor watchdog Roskomnadzor. The website is now inaccessible in Russia as the watchdog has asked internet service providers to censor it. The government watchdog also added an unspecified number of websites to be banned for users from accessing within the country. The founder released a statement saying he plans to contest the censorship after finding the website blocked.

Ivan Tikhonov, Bits Media founder, says the government did not notify them regarding the censorship. He added that they disagree with the censorship and will contest it in the courts.

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Why Did Russia Block the Cryptocurrency Website?

Source: Pixabay

The censorship comes from a ruling by the Volzhsky District Court based in Saratov city. The lawsuit claims that Bits Media had five URLs that contained information promoting crimes in the legalization field. The judge granted the prosecutor’s request to remove the five URLs on April 24.

According to the decision, five URLs shared “information aimed at promoting crimes in the field of legalization (laundering) of proceeds from crime.” A month later, the watchdog has now censored the entire website making it inaccessible to users in Russia.

Nonetheless, its founder Ivan claims that the judge passed the order without considering the case in the absence of the media outlet. He also revealed that the court and the media watchdog failed to notify them about the proceedings.

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“(Bits Media) We are an interested party in the case, but no one notified us of the proceedings. We were not given any opportunity to remove the materials about which the Saratov prosecutor’s office had questions. We strongly disagree with the verdict,” he said.

Bits Media is accessible in Russia only with a VPN and additional browser plug-ins. However, only a handful of users will be capable of using this technology to bypass censorship.

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