I showed A document released by Russia’s government says President Vladimir Putin has signed a law requiring foreign social media platforms to open offices in Russia, in the latest move by Moscow to exert greater control over big technology companies.
The Russian authorities are keen to consolidate their control over the Internet and reduce their dependence on foreign companies and countries.
Russia has in the past objected to the Kremlin’s political opponents using foreign social media platforms to organize what it says are illegal protests and announcing politically motivated investigations into alleged corruption.
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Moscow has fined companies for failing to remove content it says is illegal, slowing Twitter’s speed as a penalty.
And a new case was opened against Alphabet, the company that owns Google, for violating personal data legislation.
The new law states that a foreign entity that carries out online activities in Russia is obligated to establish a branch, open an office or create a Russian legal entity.
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The law applies to Internet giants whose daily audience in Russia is at least 500,000 people, said Alexander Khinstein, head of the Committee on Information and Information Technology Policy in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.
He wrote on his Telegram channel that companies must register a personal account via the website of Roskomnadzor, Russia’s state communications regulator.
Russia strengthens the rule of the Internet
The drafters of the bill emphasized that there was a need to create a local branch, otherwise foreign sites would be outside the jurisdiction of Russia.
Websites and organizations that do not agree to the legislation and fail to set up a local office face punitive action. Such as being classified as incompatible in search engines, removed from search results, or banned from advertising in the country.
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Russia is going after social media companies that fail to remove content that Moscow considers illegal quickly enough. Facebook, Google, Telegram and Twitter are holding court hearings later this month on new charges.
The RIA news agency reported that the new law is likely to affect 20 companies. Including retailers and e-commerce companies.