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Oleg Kozlovsky on how Russia uses "hate crime" law to silence and imprison cyber dissidents

April 19, 2010 2 minute Read by George W. Bush Presidential Center

Speaking from Russia via skype -(his trip to Dallas was stopped by Nature, not government) Oleg summarized Russian activities against bloggers and dissident activity online. The Russian government, in Oleg’s view, is simply “smarter” than the official censors in China and Iran. They stop traffic to dissident web sites and blogs not by banning them, but by quietly hiring hackers to pull the web sites down behind the scenes and unofficially, through cyberattacks “that are quite expensive” to undertake. The other tool is human rights legislation. The incitement of hate against a given social group is a crime in Russia (as it is in many countries). However in Russia, social groups may be described in a much freer way. So bloggers of Oleg’s acquaintance have received years-long sentences for inciting hatred against the police, against local government officials, and the like. Both techniques have been quite successful in stifling cyber dissent – a true public/private initiative on the part of the Government of Russia.


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George W. Bush Presidential Center

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GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

As the 13th presidential library, the Bush Library and Museum promotes an understanding of the American presidency, examines the specific time in history during which President Bush served, and provides access to official records and artifacts from the Bush Administration.

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The Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization that cultivates leaders, fosters policies to solve today’s most pressing challenges, and takes action to save and change lives. Our work is inspired by the principles that guide President and Mrs. Bush in public life.

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