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Russia was rated "partly free" in Freedom on the Net by Freedom House in 2009 (score 49), 2011 (score 52), 2012 (score 52), 2013 (score 54), and 2014 (score 60) and as "not free" in 2015 (score 62), 2016 (score 65), and 2017 (score 66) where scores range from 0 (most free) to 100 (least free).
Russia was found to engage in selective Internet filtering in the political and social areas and no evidence of filtering was found in the conflict/security and Internet tools areas by the Open Net Initiative in December 2010.
Following his visit to Russia in 2004, Álvaro Gil-Robles, then Commissioner for Human Rights of Council of Europe, noted the high quality of news and reaction speed of Russia's Internet media.
Virtually all the main newspapers were available online, some even opting for Web as a sole information outlet.
According to data published by the Russian Society for Internet Users founded by members of the Presidential Council for Human Rights, instances of censorship increased by a factor of 1,5 from 2013 to 2014.
The incidents documented include not only instances of Internet blocking but also the use of force to shut down Internet users, such as beatings of bloggers or police raids.
Russia's press agencies (including the most important Ria-Novosti and Itar-Tass) were also well represented in the Web.
He stressed the necessity to provide broadband Internet access to the whole Russian territory in five years, and to manage the transition to digital TV, as well as the 4G of cellular wireless standards.
In February 2016, the business daily Vedomosti reported on a draft law by the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications titled "On an Autonomous Internet System".
A ban on all software and websites related to circumventing internet filtering in Russia, including VPN software, anonymizers, and instructions on how to circumvent government website blocking, was passed in 2017.
Media in the Russian Federation, including the internet, is regulated by Roskomnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications), a branch of the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications.
Roskomnadzor, along with several other agencies such as the Federal Drug Control Service, the Federal Consumer Protection Service, and the office of the Prosecutor General, can block certain classes of content without a court order: Calls for unsanctioned public actions, content deemed extremist, materials that violate copyright, information about juvenile victims of crime, child abuse imagery, information encouraging the use of drugs, and descriptions of suicide.