EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Russia: New Law Coming Into Force Restrictions On Internet

Posted by Info on 14/12/2014

Law coming into force next year will require foreign firms to store Russian users’ personal data on servers located in Russia.

The law, which authorities say will improve data protection, requires foreign firms to store Russian users’ personal data on servers located in Russia. Critics say it is designed to make it harder for US internet companies to operate in the country and will give Russia’s secret services greater access to information held by foreign firms.

President Vladimir Putin is no fan of the internet, calling it a CIA project, and saying he prefers to get his information from other sources.  New legislation was considered recently that would prohibit government employees from discussing official information over non-state email accounts.

Another law, passed this year, requires bloggers with more than 3,000 followers to register their personal information with the government, a regulation that has been decried as an intimidation tactic.

Anton Nossik, often called the father of the Russian internet, said that besides the law requiring Russia-based servers, growing anti-western rhetoric following the Ukraine crisis posed a threat to foreign companies such as Google.

Google is now to close its engineering office in Russia.

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