Russian Hosting Companies Pledge to Fight CP, Hate Speech

MOSCOW—Russian hosting companies, in conjunction with the Interior Ministry, have pledged to get tougher on sites hosting child pornography and promoting hate speech. The pledge came in the form of a declaration signed Friday by some of the country's major hosting companies, according to Web Host Industry Review.

"When a complaint about improper content is received by a hosting company, the companies have agreed to send the complaint to the proprietor of the site in question, and cut off the site if a response is not received within seven days," reported

There are some potential concerns, however. Hosting providers will have the right to inform police about the complaint, and "what constitutes 'hate speech' may cause problems, since it appears that web hosts will be able to decide which sites are appropriate, and which ones constitute hate."

The fact that the Interior Ministry, which oversees the police forces, helped draft the declaration does little to lessen concerns that having providing hosts with this sort of government-sanctioned authority will be good for the "democratic elements of the Internet."

On the other hand, any increased efforts taken by the Russians to address the number of sites hosted in the country that contain images of child sexual abuse is welcome, as the country is second only to the United States in that dubious distinction.