Russian Parliament law that allows blocking social networks

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Deputies of the ruling party United russia presented this Thursday in the Duma, the lower house of Parliament, a bill that will allow the government Russian block totally or partially US social networks, such as Facebook, YouTube O Twitter, that have closed accounts O labelled content disseminated by the media in this country. The authors of the legal text claim to have received countless complaints in this regard from chains like RT O Ria Novosti, property of the Russian state, and describe such behavior as “unjustified”.

In August, few months of the presidential elections in the US and amid a loud Russian government protest, Twitter began to add the clarification of “government controlled environment“to the diffusions made by the informational companies state of Russia. In this way, the social network tried to prevent users of the reliability of what was published, given the large number of disinformation that circulated on social networks disseminated by entities linked to Russia during the months prior to the 2016 elections. In addition, following the reprimands received in Washington over the last four years, the giants of the sector have increased their vigilance, and countless false accounts linked to the Russian Federation have been closed in the run-up to the 2020 US presidential elections.

“The urgency of adopting the legislation is due to the numerous cases of unjustified restrictions on the access of Russian citizens to the information of the Russian media by certain internet companies, including those registered outside Russia, “reads an information note accompanying the bill. For the text to enter into force, it must be debated and approved by both houses, in addition to initialed by the president Vladimir Putin.

And the Kremlin, precisely, takes up much of the criticism from the Russian state media. “Certainly, there are discriminatory actions against Russian clients of these services,” the presidential spokesman warned. Dmitri Peskov, although at the same time it has warned the authors of the law that the mechanisms to counteract such actions should be carefully studied.

The initiative, of Foreign Affairs or of the Attorney General’s Office

According to the legal text, it will be the Ministry of Foreign Affairs o la Attorney General the entities that will determine which networks behave “in a discriminatory manner based on nationality, language or in connection with the introduction of sanctions against Russia or its individuals. “Subsequently, Roskomnadzor, the state entity that regulates telecommunications, would intervene, with the authority to block” totally or partially “a certain network social or to impose a fine that could amount up to three million rubles (about 33,000 euros)

In this process of increasing information restrictions in the Russian Federation, the intention of Russian deputies to debate the possibility of imposing the label of foreign agent to the correspondents of foreign media accredited in Moscow, in the event that the journalist in question carries out “activities incompatible with his professional work”. The wording of the text is lax and does not detail what are those activities that could lead to the classification that, if imposed, implies reinforced controls on finances and actions by Russian state bodies.



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