Ukraine blocks access to Russian websites

Ukraine has blocked Russia's largest social media and Internet services as a sanction against Russia's annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. The targeted sites include social networks VK.com and Odnoklassniki, as well as search engine Yandex and e-mail service Mail.ru. According to Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko, 'The challenges of hybrid war demand adequate responses. Massive Russian cyber attacks across the world...show it is time to act differently and more decisively.' The measure risks a backlash among the Ukrainian public, as these websites are widely popular in the country. 

Explore the issues

One of the main sociocultural issues is content policy, often addressed from the standpoints of human rights (freedom of expression and the right to communicate), government (content control), and technology (tools for content control). Discussions usually focus on three groups of content:

 

Several international instruments guarantee the right to freedom of expression. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that this right includes the freedom to hold opinion without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas.

Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%).

 

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