Blocked Bitcoin Websites Fight Government Censorship in Russian Court

Bitcoin websites blacklisted by the Russian government brought their case before a judge today in an attempt to overturn a decision that has restricted domestic access to their domains.

Members of bitcoin news website and exhibition company Smile Expo were reportedly in attendance at the hearing. The Russian government has filed a petition to dismiss a complaint submitted by the websites, two of six that are currently being blocked by the government.

Smile Expo argued that its website was used for the dissemination of information about its conferences, not cryptocurrency generally, negating the official argument. By comparison, BTCsec took the stance that, despite a standing proposal to ban the release of information on the technology, it is still free to discuss the topic publicly.

Ivan Tikhon, a representative of BTCsec, told Russian-language bitcoin news site Forklog that he believes the actions of the government to be illegal.

“Cryptocurrency in Russia at the moment is not prohibited, and there is no reason to believe the information about them can’t be spread in the territory of the Russian Federation,” he said.

The hearing, held at the Sverdlovsk Regional Court, follows a decision by the City Court Nevyansk to block access to the domains in January.

A follow-up hearing will be held on 15th May.

Castle tower image via Shutterstock

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