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Russian Lawmakers Come Up In Support For Bill on ‘Sovereign’ Internet

The bill faces two more votes in the lower chamber, before it is voted on in the upper house of parliament and then signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

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Internet
The coat of arms of Russia is reflected in a laptop screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 12, 2019. Pixabay

Russian lawmakers backed tighter internet controls on Tuesday to defend against foreign meddling in draft legislation that critics warn could disrupt Russia’s internet and be used to stifle dissent.

The legislation, which some Russian media have likened to an online “iron curtain,” passed its first of three readings in the 450-seat lower chamber of parliament.

The bill seeks to route Russian web traffic and data through points controlled by state authorities and proposes building a national Domain Name System to allow the internet to continue functioning even if the country is cut off from foreign infrastructure.

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The legislation, which some Russian media have likened to an online “iron curtain,” passed its first of three readings in the 450-seat lower chamber of parliament. Pixabay

The legislation was drafted in response to what its authors describe as an aggressive new U.S. national cybersecurity strategy passed last year.

The Agora human rights group said earlier this month that the legislation was one of several new bills drafted in December that “seriously threaten Internet freedom.”

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs has said the bill poses more of a risk to the functioning of the Russian internet segment than the alleged threats from foreign countries that the bill seeks to counter.

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The Agora human rights group said earlier this month that the legislation was one of several new bills drafted in December that “seriously threaten Internet freedom.” Pixabay

The bill also proposes installing network equipment that would be able to identify the source of web traffic and also block banned content.

The legislation, which can still be amended, but which is expected to pass, is part of a drive by officials to increase Russian “sovereignty” over its internet segment.

Also Read: Now Russian Telecom Watchdog To Direct Facebook, Twitter to Localise Users’ Database

Russia has introduced tougher internet laws in the last five years, requiring search engines to delete some search results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services, and social networks to store Russian users’ personal data on servers within the country.

The bill faces two more votes in the lower chamber, before it is voted on in the upper house of parliament and then signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.(VOA)

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Students who Use Internet Excessively Likely to be Anxious During Tests: Study

Excessive internet use reduces study skills in students

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Students
Students reporting more internet addiction also found it harder to organise their learning productively, and were more anxious about their upcoming tests. Pixabay

Students who use digital technology excessively are less motivated to engage with their studies, and are more anxious about exam tests, according to a new research.

This effect was made worse by the increased feelings of loneliness that use of digital technology produced, said the study, published in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.

“The results suggest that students with high levels of internet addiction may be particularly at risk from lower motivations to study, and, hence, lower actual academic performance,” said study researcher Phil Reed from Swansea University in UK.

For the findings, 285 university students, enrolled on a range of health-related degree courses, participated in the study. They were assessed for their use of digital technology, their study skills and motivation, anxiety, and loneliness.

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Students who use digital technology excessively are less motivated to engage with their studies. Pixabay

The research found a negative relationship between internet addiction and motivation to study. Students reporting more internet addiction also found it harder to organise their learning productively, and were more anxious about their upcoming tests.

The findings also found that internet addiction was associated with loneliness, and that this loneliness made study harder.

About 25 per cent of the students reported that they spent over four hours a day online, with the rest indicating that they spent between one to three hours a day.

The main uses of the internet for the student sample were social networking (40 per cent) and information seeking (30 per cent), the researchers said.

In addition to the links between levels of internet addiction and poor study motivation and ability, internet addiction was found to be associated with increased loneliness.

The results indicated that loneliness, in turn, made studying harder for the students.

The study suggests that loneliness plays a large role in positive feelings about academic life in higher education.

Also Read- 5 Health Tests That Women Should Undergo

According to the researchers, the poorer social interactions that are known to be associated with internet addiction make loneliness worse, and, in turn, impact on motivation to engage in a highly social educational environment such as a university. (IANS)