A new law signed by Vladimir Putin means that Russian blogs with an audience of over 3000 will need to be registered with the Government, with non-compliance leading to fines of around £1000.
Coming into force from July, the new law will toughen the licensing regime of the state regarding content. We're not sure as to the detail of the law just yet; we cannot confirm whether it includes, for example, Facebook pages with over 3000 likes, or how "audience" is defined in this case. Even so, it's a very worrying trend in terms of free speech and the spread of digital communications.
The law also bans swear words in films, TV, print and theatres (well, he can shove that one right up his arse - Ed) with disputes going to a "swear word arbitration panel". So, for those of you that have ever had to write a swear word kill-list for discussion forums or comment services, now's the time to monetise the opportunity. Retailers that do not provide advance warning of pre-authorised sweary content may have their trading licences withdrawn.
Finally, the ban extends to the Soviet Union's role in World War II, to which all references must now be "correct" in accordance with Government guidance.
If you're reading this and are a Russia-based blogger writing a sweary critique of your countryfolk's war record, then perhaps now's the time to consider a new country in which to live...