The Russian Federation Declares War on Piracy

Cybercrime department of the Interior Ministry is rolling out a program which will force ISPs to take responsibility for their users’ habits – downloading movies illegally and child pornography.

All illegal content that’s found online will be documented, Zhannat Seralinov, the head of the Interior Ministry’s cybercrime department for the Moscow region said as quoted by The Moscow Times.

“Checks of the local networks of operators are being carried out across the country”, said Larisa Zhukova, press secretary for the cybercrime department. The end result will be seen around the end of April beginning of May, she added.

At the moment Russia’s anti-piracy laws can send you to prison for six years for downloading copyrighted material or distributing child pornography. As such, many Russian ISPs have disabled all file-sharing services.

President Dmitry Medvedev has already introduced changes to the Civil Code, and passed on to the Duma. In September they’re expected to be law. The initial purpose of this campaign is to check how much piracy is going on the country’s local networks.

“There is nothing you can do on the local network that you cannot do on the Internet,” said Aleksey Dmitriev, CEO of ISP Iskratelecom.

“If the Interior Ministry wants to take the ISPs under control, it shows the lack of real power: it is easier to deal with thousands of ISPs than millions of individual users that share illegal content,” he added.

After revising the changes in the Civil Code, Cnews.ru said that they’re not a threat to businesses or internet users. The new law will not punish ISPs who did not know, and didn’t have to know” about illegal file-sharing within their networks, and didn’t participate in the creation of the illegal content.

What they have to do is to delete copyrighted data if it receives a written notice from copyright holders.