The Straits Times
Published on Sep 19, 2012

YouTube under threat in Russia over Prophet film


MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Access to YouTube across Russia could be blocked under a new law that takes effect on Nov 1 if the portal does not remove a video mocking the Prophet Muhammad, the country's communications minister said on Tuesday.

The video, which sparked violent protests in many Muslim countries, has been deemed extremist by Russian prosecutors who have now asked the court to ban it.

Under new legislation, Internet sites carrying content banned in Russia would be included on a special register, after which Internet providers would have one day to block access.

"Because of this video, YouTube could be blocked throughout the territory of Russia," Communications minister Nikolai Nikiforov, one of the opponents of the new law, wrote in his Twitter microblog. "If a law is passed it should be enforced."