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Russian President Vladimir Putin Signs Russian Internet Bill into Law

The legislation has aroused controversy as many Russian social network users think it qualifies as one aimed at isolating the Russian internet

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Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking to the media following the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, April 27, 2019. VOA

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed into law a bill on providing stable operation of a Russian national internet system in case of disconnection from the global network infrastructure.

According to the law published on Russia’s official legal information portal, Russian telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor is entitled to carry out “the centralised operation of the general communications network” if there are risks to the operation of the Russian internet.

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The measures include installing a national system for internet traffic routing through servers within the country and preventing external threats from cutting off the Russian part of the global network, Xinhua reported.

The legislation has aroused controversy as many Russian social network users think it qualifies as one aimed at isolating the Russian internet.

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Vladimir Putin, President of Russia. Wikimedia Commons

In response, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said previously that Russia has no plans to isolate the internet but must prepare for a possible disconnection from the global network and protect the users’ interests. (IANS)

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Russia Accuses Facebook, Google of Election Interference

“This can be considered foreign meddling into Russia’s state sovereignty and interference with the country’s democratic process,” the watchdog said in a statement

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Many materials published on Facebook and Google resources can be considered interference in Russia’s internal affairs, said an official of the Russian Central Election Commission.

On Sunday, municipal and regional elections were held across Russia, with a total of 22 administrative centres electing city parliaments, and three regional capitals electing heads of municipalities, Sputnik news agency reported.

“Much of what is published there can be attributed to those materials that directly affect a person who is making a choice,” said Nikolai Bulayev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Central Election Commission.

“If there is an influence, I’m sure that this can be considered as interference in internal affairs,” Bulayev told reporters.

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FILE – A woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018. VOA

On the day of the elections, Russia’s communication watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said that it had determined that several US Internet giants — Google, Facebook and Youtube — had featured politically charged advertisements on their platforms, which constituted foreign meddling in Russia’s electoral procedures.

“After monitoring various media platforms on the day of the elections, it has been determined that Google’s search engine, the Facebook social media platform and Youtube’s video hosting service featured political advertisements.

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“This can be considered foreign meddling into Russia’s state sovereignty and interference with the country’s democratic process,” the watchdog said in a statement.

The Russian parliamentary upper house’s Commission on Protecting State Sovereignty will look into possible foreign meddling in the country’s local elections in the second half of September, the commission’s chairman Andrei Klimov said on Sunday. (IANS)