Russia's communications minister and its top prosecutor are exploring options – including blocking YouTube – to prevent the film from being shown in Russia, home to 20 million Muslims.
Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/AP
Russia's Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov has warned that Russia might shut down domestic access to YouTube, in order to block the controversial anti-Islamic film "The Innocence of Muslims," but only after Nov. 1 when a new Internet law empowering Russian authorities to blacklist any "extremist" content comes into effect.
Mr. Nikoforov's warning, posted on his Twitter account, follows a Monday decision by the Russian Prosecutor General's office to seek a court order deeming the film "extremist" and ordered the country's media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, to take steps to ensure it is not shown in Russia even before a court decides.
"[We] will appeal to court for the acknowledgement of this film as extremist in order to prevent its online distribution in Russia," Prosecutor General spokeswoman Marina Gridneva told the independent Interfax news agency. "Before the court makes a ruling, the Prosecutor General's Office instructed Roskomnadzor to take measures to prevent the media distribution this film contains."