Russian Media Watchdog Unblocks Crypto News Outlet

The mass media regulator in Russia, Roskomnadzor, had recently blocked a crypto news outlet by the name of Bits.media. The proceedings pertaining to the block had taken place in the regional court, but representatives of the crypto news portal had not been informed or summoned to attend them. Now, the regulatory authority has unblocked the website in the country.

The blocking incident

Crypto news outlet called Bits.media has the second-largest audience in the crypto space in Russia and the website had found itself blacklisted by Roskomnadzor. Fortunately, the website has managed to get its ban canceled.

The ban had occurred in the previous week after the mass media regulatory agency had added a number of pages of Bits.media website to its register of websites that are believed to be spreading prohibited information in the Russian Federation.

The ruling for the ban on the website had come from the Volzhsky District Court, where the prosecutor’s office in the city of Saratov had filed a lawsuit back in March. Within a month, the judge granted the request put forward by the prosecutor and the case had been considered without the presence of the owners of the news outlet. The URLs that had earned the ban were not specified by the media regulator.

However, Bits.media was able to ascertain that its crypto exchange aggregator was one of the URLs that was the problem. The news outlet took that page down, after which Russian internet providers were given permission by the media censor to unblock the website once more. The decision of the provincial court had four other links mentioned and Bits.media believes that these were also addresses of other crypto exchangers or aggregators.

Bits.media not backing down

According to the management of the crypto media outlet, they will not let this matter rest, as blocking the website as against the law. The founder of Bits.media, Ivan Tikhonov, asserted that the decision of the court was illegal and they would obtain an annulment.

He highlighted that they wanted the website to be accessible during the proceedings, so the aggregator page had been disabled. Russian law firm Digital Rights Center would be offering its support to Bits.media in its bid to overturn the ruling of the Saratov court. The company provides legal services to internet businesses and users. Two years earlier, it had managed to get the aggregator of Bestchange.ru unblocked.

Legal work

The legal experts of the company established that violations had been committed by the judicial authorities, as current legislation in Russia does not yet prohibit crypto circulation. The DRC has achieved success in some other cases as well, which includes getting websites like that of the world’s biggest exchange, Binance, and Bitcoininfo.ru portal unblocked.

It should be noted that Russian authorities also targeted Forklog.com, which is the top crypto news source in the country, back in April. It also had its website blocked without any explanation or warning. It had occurred only days after the editors of the platform had criticized the ‘special military operation’ that Russia had launched in Ukraine.