​​​​Russian media watchdog unblocks crypto news site after money laundering claims

​​​​Russian media watchdog unblocks crypto news site after money laundering claims
1 month ago
4 mins read

Roskomnadzor, the government agency that oversees Russia’s mass media, has allowed users to once again access a prominent Russian crypto news page.

Bits.media, a Russian crypto-related news site, was only recently blocked as a consequence of proceedings in a district court in which the company’s representatives were not even required to appear.

The outlet was able to convince Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media to remove it from its blacklist, thus becoming available again on the Russian Federations territory on July 5, although the site’s editors announced they would continue to fight against the ‘unfair’ court verdict.

Roskomnadzor, as the agency is known, restricted access to the Bits.media website last week for promoting ‘money laundering’ after adding an undefined number of pages to a list of internet sites distributing content deemed unlawful in the Russian Federation.

How the watchdog blocked Bits.media 

The decision to implement the measure was based on a verdict that was made by the Volzhsky District Court of the city of Saratov in a case that was first filed by the office of the local prosecutor in late March.

After evaluating the situation’s circumstances without the proprietors of the media organization present, the court decided to accept the prosecutor’s motion a little under a month later. 

The URLs that caused the problems, some of which belonged to other websites, were hidden from public view. Bits.media discovered that one of them is the address of its crypto exchanger aggregator, and it published this information. 

It was also necessary to remove that page before the media censor in Russia would enable access to the website to be restored by Russian internet service providers. The members of its team have come to the conclusion that the four more connections that were specified in the judgement made by the provincial court are the addresses of other aggregators or crypto exchangers. 

Despite this, the administration of the crypto media plans to put an end to the issue since it is adamant that the address was banned in violation of the law. Bits.media was established by Ivan Tikhonov, who was quoted as saying that: “We consider the court’s decision illegal and will seek its annulment.” 

Tikhonov brought to light the fact that the editorial board had made the decision to deactivate the aggregator page in order to keep the rest of the site up during the proceedings.

Law firm takes up the case to reverse the verdict

Bits.media will have the aid of Digital Rights Center, a Russian law company that specializes in offering legal advice to internet users and companies, in the forthcoming attempts to reverse the verdict that was handed down by the Saratov court. In 2016, the firm’s legal team successfully had the aggregator at Bestchange.ru unblocked. 

Since the circulation of cryptocurrencies was not and still is not forbidden under Russia’s current laws, the business’s legal experts were able to argue that judicial officials had violated the law, which allowed them to prove that the corporation had committed infractions.

Other successful cases have been handled by the Digital Rights Coalition, such as the unblocking of the websites of the Bitcoininfo.ru portal and Binance.

Finally, Bits.media is not the only Russian-language site for information linked to cryptocurrencies that has been the focus of attacks in recent times. 

At the start of April, Roskomnadzor limited access to the website Forklog.com, which is the most popular source of cryptocurrency-related news updates in the Russian-speaking space. The same thing occurred here; there was neither a warning nor an explanation given before it took place. 

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Jordan Major

Jordan is an investor and market analyst. He's passionate about stocks, ETFs, blockchain, and digital assets. At Finbold.com, he delves into the technicalities to obtain future trends for new market traders and gives insights into user-friendly platforms for beginners.