Russia unblocked Wikipedia after one entry which, according to a provincial court, contained banned information took off the ‘objectionable’ content and edited it to their liking. Earlier in the day, the country’s internet regulator, Roskomnadzor, which is the Russian equivalent of Federal Communications Commission, had blocked a Russian language page of the site related to Charas, a type of hashish, after a court ruling.
A recent Russian legislation forbids sites from carrying information about suicide, hate and drugs, a move which has come under flak from the critics. They accuse the authorities of trying to impose censorship by passing such laws.
The ban on Wikipedia came in response to a court ruling in southern Russia. They wanted to block only one article about Charas but since Wikipedia’s security setup made it impossible for the Russian ISPs to block a single entry, they took the extreme step and denied access to the entire site.
Though the ban was brief and lasted only a few hours, it did stir up a hornet’s nest. Memories of the temporary ban on Reddit earlier in the month (also in connection with an article related to drugs) are still fresh and this ban, no matter how brief, has catapulted the regulatory authority into limelight once again.
Wikipedia has not yet responded when requested for their comments on the issue.