Russia removed a Yahoo! Inc. page from its registry of prohibited sites after the company took down an Islamic State video, the country’s communications watchdog said on Twitter.
Roskomnadzor, as the regulator is known, had blocked the page, which was deemed extremist, after the company didn’t respond to requests to remove it, spokesman Vadim Ampelonskiy said on Thursday by phone in Moscow. That may have prevented Russian users from accessing Yahoo’s entire site, because the company uses the secure https protocol, which doesn’t allow individual pages to be blocked.
“Once we were made aware of the video, we removed it as we determined that it was content incompatible with our editorial policies,” Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo said in a statement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been tightening his grip over the Internet amid recent tensions with the U.S. He’s allowed the blocking of websites without a court decision, made bloggers with more than 3,000 readers liable for what they publish, and urged foreign Internet firms to store Russian users’ personal data locally.
Last month, Wikipedia was blocked by several regional Internet providers in Russia at the request of Roskomnadzor after an article in the online encyclopedia about an illegal drug failed to comply with local laws. Access was restored after the article was edited.
Roskomnadzor has the power to prohibit access to Internet pages that advocate drug use, suicide or extremism, according to Russian laws. The country has previously temporarily shut access to news site Reddit and Google Inc.’s service.