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Russia bans all of Wikipedia over an article about hashish (updated)

Andrew Tarantola, @terrortola
August 24, 2015
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Russia's government apparently thinks that by censoring the Internet, its citizens will forget that drugs exist. After briefly banning Reddit recently over a single thread about psychedelic mushrooms, Russia's Roscomnadzor agency (which is charged with policing the Internet for objectionable material) has officially nixed the entirety of Wikipedia.

Specifically, the agency is up in arms over "charas" -- a handmade form of hash from India that even I had never heard of -- as the Wiki page reportedly constitutes "instructions" on how to make the stuff. And since Wikipedia, like Reddit, employs HTTPS, there's no way for the Russian government to censor that single page. As such, it's requested ISPs take the entire Wikipedia site completely offline for all of Russia until the Roscomnadzor gets its way. Wikipedia.ru has vowed to appeal the decision, according to Sputnik News. At present, Wikipedia still appears to be online in the country, so it's unclear if ISPs have yet to action the request.

Update: An earlier version of this story indicated that Wikipedia was already offline, we have updated it to reflect the latest known situation.

Update 2 8/25: Wikipedia's in the clear -- the supposedly offending article no longer violates Russian law.

[Image credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images]

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