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Monday, June 9, 2014

Russian Law to Restrict Online Freedom

Russia: Veto Law to Restrict Online Freedom | Human Rights Watch: "Russia should not impose unjustified regulations on freedom of expression and privacy on the Internet, Human Rights Watch said today. A restrictive new law requires Russian bloggers with significant followings to register with the authorities and comply with the same regulations as media outlets. On April 22, 2014, Russia’s State Duma adopted amendments to counter-terrorism legislation, including a new law on “Internet users called bloggers.” The law requires bloggers with more than 3,000 daily visitors online to register withRoskomnadzor, the state body for media oversight. Once registered, bloggers will have the same legal constraints and responsibilities as mass media outlets, including verifying information for accuracy, indicating the minimal age for users, protecting information pertaining to people’s privacy, and being subject to restrictions on propaganda in support of electoral candidates. Bloggers could also be held responsible for any comments posted by third parties on their website or social media page. “This law demands that bloggers abide by the same restrictions as mass media without giving them the same protections and privileges,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “This is another milestone in Russia’s relentless crackdown on free expression.”..."

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