The Russian protest against online censorship is similar to U.S. protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) last January, when English version of Wikipedia along with sites as Reddit an Craigslist opposed the legislation by blocking access to their websites.
However, the Russian protest is not as big because it had to be staged in a hurry, Medeyko said. The first reading of the law occurred Friday and the second one is planned for Wednesday, he said, adding that a Russian bill becomes law after the third reading.
The Russian IT industry was not expecting that amendments with such a big impact on the law could be be approved so fast, Medeyko said, adding that sometimes a law can pass through the Duma in one day, but that is an exception and happens when parties agree on the amendments.
Wikipedia is backed by the Russian version of LiveJournal, which protested in a blog post, and Bash.im, the Russian version of quotation site Bash.org, which posted a red banner on each page.
Russian social networking site VKontakte, which has about 290 million users, also joined the bandwagon when the site's founder, Pavel Durov, announced support of the protest.
"We're starting with a banner in all pages. There is a reading of Internet censorship introducing law currently in the Russian Duma. Details at ru.wikipedia.org," Durov announced on Twitter.
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