Earlier this week the upper chamber of the Russian parliament approved two bills, each designed to fight the flow of fake news, disinformation and other political propaganda around the country. The laws are similar in many ways to fake news legislation recently passed by various countries around the word over the course of the last year or so, including in France, Iraq, Jordan – et cetera. Also similar to them, critics fear that Russia’s newest legislation constitutes a massive blow to free speech and freedom of the press/journalism.
The first bill, Article 15-3 of the Federal Law “On Information, Information Technologies and on Protection of Information,” prevents citizens from publishing so-called “unreliable news stories” on the Internet – whilst applying the same prohibition to traditional news outlets and other forms of media, both online and off. The bill will also add all sources deemed unreliable to National filtration databases, that will block the sites from the customers of Russian Internet Service Providers (ISP’s). As was also reported by Russia Today, “the bill also stipulates fines for deliberately publishing harmful misinformation measuring from as low as $460 to as much as $23,000 depending on who is fined and how much harm they managed to inflict.”
Track Bill Here: http://sozd.duma.gov.ru/bill/606594-7
The second bill amending Federal Law “On Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection” penalizes people deemed to be using the Internet to disrespect society, the Russian government, state’s officials, symbols of the Russian Federation, Constitution, or any other sources of legal authority – as constituted by the Code of Administrative Offenses. As was reported by Russia Today, “for the dissemination of unreliable information in the media or on the Internet, fines of 3-5 thousand rubles are imposed for citizens and from 400 thousand to one million rubles for companies.” With that said however, lawmakers did specify that the bill won’t apply to criticism in “any form,” rather, that which is just “blatantly insulting.”
Track Bill Here: http://sozd.duma.gov.ru/bill/606593-7
Article 15-3 of the Federal Law “On Information, Information Technologies and on Protection of Information:138076888-138081199
Federal Law On Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection:138077023-138081137