Human Rights Groups Protest Russian Web Proposal

Major Internet sites and human rights advocates sharply criticized a proposed law that would grant the Russian government broad new powers to restrict Web content, ostensibly to protect children from pornography and other harmful material. Critics said the law could quickly lead to repression of speech and a restrictive firewall like the one in China. The new measure is part of a wider effort by the Russian authorities to crack down on the opposition since President Vladimir V. Putin’s inauguration in May.