On December 30th, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law to combat internet censorship in foreign social media platforms.
From now on, if they attempt to block information from Russian media, the General Prosecutor’s Office, in agreement with the foreign ministry, will be able to assign such resources the status of “discriminating against Russian media”.
As a more serious punishment, a fine of up to three million rubles, traffic slowdown or a complete shutdown is foreseen. Both individual pages and the entire resource can be blocked.
Roskomnadzor will keep the register of violators. The adopted norms will affect platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
The main points are the following:
- for restricting access to information on racial, ethnic and political affiliation, the Prosecutor General, in agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be able to assign the owner of the information resource the status of discriminating against the Russian media, which will threaten the Internet platform with sanctions;
- the law will apply not only to large social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, but also to large IT platforms;
- if censorship against Russian media is discontinued, the foreign platform will have to inform Roskomnadzor about this, after which the Prosecutor General, in agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will lift the sanctions on the Internet resource;
- the law provides for the possibility not only to impose a fine of up to 3 million, but also to slow down traffic or even block the platform
Blocking a resource will entirely depend on the capabilities of the platform itself.
In November, the Association of Professional Users of Social Networks and Messengers came up with a proposal to introduce a fine of up to 10 million rubles for foreign Internet companies for censoring Russian media, as well as the possibility of forcible seizure of funds from such companies.
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