Putin law shuts Russian Wiki

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The Russian version of online encyclopedia Wikipedia closed yesterday in a one-day protest against president Vladimir ­Putin’s plan to create his own version of the “Great Chinese Firewall” to block internet dissent.

Supporters of amendments to Russia’s information law, which were proposed by the ruling United Russia party and will be discussed in parliament today, said changes are needed to protect children from harmful sites.

But leaders of anti-Putin protests say the new law could shut down websites in Russia such as Facebook and Twitter without a court order and would stifle protests organised through social networking sites.