Russia Moves Closer To Search Engine Interference

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Feb 3, 2021

Telecomms regulator Roskomnadzor discusses blocks on gambling sites with major search engines

Russia appears to be continually expanding its anti-online gambling measures, with the latest target search engine blocks against internet gambling sites that telecomms regulator Roskomnadzor has blacklisted.

Earlier this week the regulator and major local search engines reached consensus on mandatory measures designed to block the access of Russians to search engine listings associated with blacklisted online gambling websites.

The proposal is that the regulator will set up an automated alert service that advises local search engines of new blacklistings; the search engines then have 72 hours to remove all references to the blacklisted websites.

Roskomnadzor has in recent months banned tens of thousands of online gambling websites, adding them to its massively and continually expanding blacklist.

The automated advisory system emulates that used in similar blocks that internet service providers are obliged to implement following an earlier initiative. Whilst there are harsh penalties for non-compliance by ISPs, the penalties in store for search engines have yet to be announced.

InfoPowa readers will recall that Russian law now makes provision for ISP blocking and for curbs on the use of virtual private networks and other tools capable of circumventing banning measures.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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