Russian Mass Media Watchdog Blocks Crypto News Sites, What’s Up? Russia’s leading crypto news outlet, has been blocked by Russia’s telecommunications and mass media watchdog, Roskomnadzor.
The blocking resulted from the decision of the Volzhsky District Court of the city of Saratov in a lawsuit initiated by the local prosecutor’s office on March 31. The judge granted the prosecutor’s request on April 24 after considering the case in the absence of the media owners. Bits.media explained in a post in more detail about this case.
“According to the published decision, five URLs were targeted because they contained information aimed at promoting crimes in the area of legalizing (laundering) the proceeds of crime,” according to a Bits.media post, quoted from Bitcoin.com, Monday (25/7/2022).
Bits.media founder Ivan Tikhonov said it was still unclear whether only Bits.media addresses were affected and the formal reason for the action was unknown.
“We are interested parties in this case, but no one has told us about the process. We were not given the opportunity to remove the material in question by the Saratov prosecutor’s office. We strongly disagree with the ruling,” said Tikhonov.
Bits.media plans to appeal the court’s ruling as it has won similar cases in the past.
In January 2015, Russia’s internet regulator blocked a website that referred to the decision of the Nevyansk City Court in the Sverdov region.
Russian Mass Media Watchdog Blocks Crypto News Sites, What’s Up? Local prosecutors motivated his defense with the need to “protect an unlimited circle of people.” Seven websites were restricted, but the decision was overturned later that year.
Then, in March 2020, Roskomnadzor blacklisted five websites offering cryptocurrency-related information and services. The Bits.media forum section was also targeted. Just like the website now, it is still available in Russia via VPN and browser plugins.
Other operators of the Russian crypto platform have also successfully challenged the decision. In March 2018, the Saint Petersburg City Court lifted the ban on 40 websites publishing crypto content.
The following month, the Russian Supreme Court overturned a decision that restricted access to the Bitcoininfo.ru portal. In May 2019, Roskomnadzor had to remove Bestchange.ru from its list after prosecutors stopped efforts to block the website.
Previously, US Senator Elizabeth Warren again expressed her opinion regarding crypto assets. This time he said, too many crypto companies are not shy and able to deceive customers.
He also stressed the need for stronger regulations, urging the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Congress to take action against crypto regulation.
“Congress needs to act, but the SEC has a responsibility to use its authority to put in place fences and crack down on crypto actors who break the rules,” Warren said.
“I have sounded the alarm bell in crypto and the need for stronger rules to protect consumers and financial stability,” the senator added.
Last week, crypto lender Celsius Network filed for bankruptcy protection after freezing withdrawals. A week earlier, another crypto lender, Voyager Digital, filed for bankruptcy protection. Likewise the crypto company Three Arrows Digital.
SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce previously expressed concern in May to the securities watchdog regarding crypto handling.
Russian Mass Media Watchdog Blocks Crypto News Sites, What’s Up? “We can go after fraud and we can play a more positive role on the innovation side, but we have to do it, we have to get to work. I haven’t seen us want to do that work so far,” he argues.
SEC chairman Gary Gensler has also been criticized for taking an enforcement-centric approach to crypto regulation. In May, the securities watchdog said it would double its enforcement division’s crypto unit. Last week, Gensler outlined what investors can expect from the SEC in the area of crypto regulation.
Senator Warren has pressured Gensler to step up crypto surveillance on several occasions. In July last year, he warned about the increasing risks of cryptocurrency trading, asking securities regulators to use their full authority to address these risks.