ECHR: Collateral blocking of website violates freedom of expression

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has decided, in the Vladimir Kharitonov v. Russia case, that collateral blocking of an entire website is an extreme and disproportionate measure that violates freedom of expression and the right to an effective remedy (Article 10 and Article 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights).

Kharitonov sued the Russian government for blocking his website, Electronic Publishing News, in December 2012. The Russian state authority for supervising media and telecommunications Roskomnadzor issued a blocking order aimed at a different website, but because the two websites shared the same IP address, Kharitonov’s website became a victim of collateral website blocking. When Kharitonov sued in Russia, courts sided with Roskomnadzor.