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Intel closes its Russian forums to avoid the country's 'blogger law'

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Russia's increasingly tight restrictions on internet use are chilling free expression, even on sites where you'd rarely expect people to talk politics. Intel has closed its Russian developer forums in order to avoid grappling with the country's "blogger law," which requires that site authors register with a government regulator and face the same conditions that govern the press. The chip designer isn't saying much about the closure. It tells TechCrunch that it's doing this to "comply" with the law, and that its presences on multiple social networks will let Russian coders get in touch. However, it's pretty clear that Intel is taking no chances -- it'd rather not subject its staff (and possibly forum contributors) to close government scrutiny simply because they're troubleshooting apps. Don't be surprised if other tech companies pull back from the Russian web for similar reasons.

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