The bitcoin community in Russia celebrates a victory. Bitcoin websites blocked this January are back online after the regional court in the Urals cancelled the decision of the lower authority. 

The regional court in Yekaterinburg today issued a positive decision on the appeal by Russian bitcoin websites BTCsec.com and Bitcoinconf.ru that had been blocked since January 2015, bits.media reports.

The access to bitcoin.org, bitcoin.it, btcsec.com, bitcoinf.ru, and to a number of other websites was restricted in Russia on 13 January, 2015, by the national web regulator, Roskomnadzor, following a decision of the Nevyansk Town Court. According to bits.media, the authorities failed to notify the owners of the websites about the court case and about the decision, despite legal requirements to do so. That is why their first chance to defend their case was to appeal against the decision on procedural grounds. The case was brought before the Sverdlovsk Region Court, located in Yekaterinburg, the fourth-largest city in Russia and the main city in the Urals.

During the first hearing, prosecutors claimed that the Attorney office did not request for these websites to be blocked but for their content to stop being distributed. Applicants insisted that website blocking was the direct consequence of that decision. During the second hearing, prosecutors repudiated their demands towards BTCsec.com and Bitcoinconf.ru but insisted that the other resources should remain blocked whereas the appellants stood for complete abolishing of the previous ruling.

As a result the court decided to reverse the judgement of the Nevyansk Town Court and declared the blocking illegal. BTCsec believes it means a revocation of the ban on spreading information about cryptocurrencies (and bitcoin in particular) in Russia. 

Besides BTCsec.com and Bitcoinconf.ru the block should be also lifted from seven other websites including bitcoin.org and bitcoin.it.

BTCsec thanked a law office “Tolkachev and partners” and Artem Tolkachev himself for handling the appeal case of bitcoin companies, their fellow applicant Smile Expo, and bitcoin community for its support.

The news was greeted with excitement on Reddit. The user RealJohnKennedyToole wrote:

“It looks like someone finally explained to Putin that bitcoin probably wasn't engineered by the CIA.”

 

Nadya Krasnushkina