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Russia’s Insane Crackdown on Bloggers

Most American bloggers would be thrilled if their government announced that they were officially journalists. Press passes! Insider access! In Russia, however, the journalist label comes with a bit of baggage—namely, state oversight and strict censorship of any potentially contentious reportage.

It’s bad news for Russian bloggers, then, that starting today, anyone who attracts more than 3,000 daily readers to his blog is considered a de facto journalist and must register. (In a largely symbolic gesture, LiveJournal has already stopped reporting blog subscribers beyond the 2,500 mark.) Registration entails turning over your personal details to the government—including, of course, your name, meaning anonymous blogging is now illegal for many. (By the way, the law applies to any blog written in Russian for Russians; a post you write from a Brooklyn cafe could face censorship from Moscow.)

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