Google and several leading Russian search engines have completely removed 786 ‘pirate’ sites from their search results. That’s according to Russian telecoms watchdog Rozcomnadzor, which reports that the search providers delisted the sites after ISPs were ordered by a Moscow court to permanently block them.
In July, President Vladimir Putin signed a new law which requires local telecoms watchdog Rozcomnadzor to maintain a list of banned domains while identifying sites, services, and software that provide access to them.
Rozcomnadzor is required to contact the operators of such services with a request for them to block banned resources. If they do not, then they themselves will become blocked. In addition, search engines are also required to remove blocked resources from their search results, in order to discourage people from accessing them.
Removing entire domains from search results is a controversial practice and something which search providers have long being against. They argue that it’s not their job to act as censors and in any event, content remains online, whether it’s indexed by search or not.
According to a report from Rozcomnadzor, search providers Google, Yandex, Mail.ru, Rambler, and Sputnik have stopped presenting information in results for sites that have been permanently blocked by ISPs following a decision by the Moscow City Court.
“To date, search engines have stopped access to 786 pirate sites listed in the register of Internet resources which contain content distributed in violation of intellectual property rights,” the watchdog reports.
The domains aren’t being named by Rozcomnadzor or the search engines but are almost definitely those sites that have had complaints filed against them at the City Court on multiple occasions but have failed to take remedial action.
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