Blocked Bitcoin Websites Fight Government Censorship in Russian Court
Representatives of Smile Expo and BTCsec.com, two of the many websites that have been blocked by the Russian government attended the first session of Sverdlovsk Oblast court.
Representatives of Smile Expo and BTCsec.com, two of the many websites that have been blocked by the Russian government in 2014 attended the first session of Sverdlovsk Oblast court, for an attempt to free the websites from restricted access in Russia.
In October 2014, Russia’s Ministry of Finance proposed a draft of the “Russian Bitcoin Ban Legislation”, with hopes to ban bitcoin in Russia by 2015. Around the same time, Russian Telecom Regulator Roskomnadzor blocked access to sites dedicated to Cryptocurrency, including bitcoin.org, hasbitcoin.ru, bitcoin.it, btcsec.com, etc. due to a court order.
Smile Expo, a company which organizes conferences for 3D Printing, virtual reality, cryptocurrency, Robotics, etc. stated that the purpose of its bitcoinconf.ru website is to display necessary information for their upcoming conferences in the aforementioned industries, not to promote bitcoin. Moreover, Smile Expo argued that the company covers a vast range of conferences in different industries and does not only specialize in Bitcoin.
Smile Expo added that the given resource had simply provided information on the Moscow Bitcoin Conference, for example, not cryptocurrency itself and therefore should be accessible in Russia.
“We have no plans to close,” the founder of BTCsec, Ivan Tikhonov, told Cointelegraph back in January. “We believe this ban is unlawful and we will fight it in court.”
Following through with this promise, representatives of BTCsec.com presented the case that public discussion about the topic of cryptocurrency should be allowed, regardless of the proposal to ban the “distribution of information” on the cryptocurrency technology.
“I’m expecting the decision of blocking BTCsec.com to be cancelled as I deem it illicit, and think the whole trial involved evident flaws. One should remember that cryptocurrencies are not banned in Russia for now, and no information concerning them cannot be considered as information forbidden for distribution within the Russian Federation. I believe they stand to win.”
The Sverdlovsk Oblast Court decided to carry on with the hearing under general trial jurisdiction on May 15.
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