Bitcoin News: A court in Russia’s Perm region has decided to block a number of websites that explain how to exchange cryptocurrency for cash. Local prosecutors argue that the dissemination of such information is also illegal in Russia, as it could facilitate the laundering of illegal funds.
The Kungur City Court in Russia’s Perm Krai region has approved the Beryozovsky District Prosecutor’s request to shut down several websites detailing various Bitcoin trading methods. Prosecutors who discovered crypto platforms insist that posting such content violates Russian legislation on combating the legalization of criminal proceeds.
“It has been found that information on bitcoin monetization methods is freely available to view and use on certain internet resources,” the prosecution said in a press release. Taking into account that the legislation sees the exchange of virtual currency as the potential for involvement in suspicious transactions, the prosecutor sent an administrative statement of demand to this court requesting that access to this information be restricted.
The number of affected websites and their domain names were not disclosed, but Forklog said five such requests have been filed since the beginning of the year, citing the prosecution. According to the publication, one of the allegations is related to a YouTube video describing ways to exchange Bitcoin for Russian rubles.
Russia’s crackdown on Bitcoin websites continues
The Perm Prosecutor’s Office said, without providing further details, that access to websites subject to the latest Kungur City Court decision will be restricted after the decision goes into effect.
Last August, Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked a crypto exchange monitoring website called Bestchange.ru for the third time. The popular site helps Russian-speaking users find the best crypto-fiat exchange rates available. Attempts to blacklist Roskomnadzor began in 2017.
In March 2020, the agency added five crypto websites to its list of banned internet resources. The platforms offered a variety of services, from crypto exchanges to mobile Bitcoin top-ups, one of which was an information portal. The forum section of crypto news portal Bits.media was also targeted.
Crypto website operators have successfully challenged some of these censorship measures in Russian courts in the past. In March 2018, the Saint Petersburg City Court lifted a ban on 40 websites that posted information and offered services related to cryptocurrencies. In April of that year, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation overturned the decision to block the Bitcoininfo.ru portal. In May 2019, Roskomnadzor was forced to remove Bestchange.ru from its blacklist after prosecutors abandoned efforts to block the website.