Regulation of Online Freedom of Expression in Russia in the Context of the Council of Europe Standards

  • Elena SherstoboevaEmail author
Part of the Societies and Political Orders in Transition book series (SOCPOT)


This chapter compares the Russian national legislation on online freedom of expression with the Council of Europe’s (CoE) legal standards to investigate the extent to which the Russian legislation has been consistent with the CoE vision. The chapter first examines the CoE perspective on online freedom of expression and media freedom, including the European Court of Human Rights case law and non-binding documents of the other main CoE institutions, and then analyses the Russian national legal framework for online content. The chapter looks beyond legal studies debates and outlines the issue from historical and political perspectives to explore the real meaning of online freedom of expression in Russia. The chapter concludes that Russian and CoE visions are conceptually different and that Russian regulations are closer to the USSR speech policies than to the CoE standards. It also suggests that Internet companies and international organisations should drive a revision of the Russian Internet law.


Freedom of expression Freedom of speech Media freedom Internet laws Freedom of expression in Russia Internet regulation in Russia Council of Europe European Court of Human Rights 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.City University of Hong KongKowloonHong Kong

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