No More Facebook for Russians?

QArea Expert by QArea Expert on July 8, 2014

No More Facebook for Russians?
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The law in Russia seems to be getting more Chinese than ever. July started with unpleasant news for all Internet users of the huge Russian Federation. On July 1, the parliament passed the bill which makes online services store personal info about their Russian users nowhere but in Russia.

The effects of the law, intended to take effect in September 2016, are going to be really dramatic since it touches upon such popular worldwide services like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and every other services whose servers are not yet in Russia. Due to this law, the companies mentioned above will have to move part of their servers to Russia, or otherwise they will be banned.

The law puts at risk both Russian users who may lose access to a wide range of their favorite online sites, and online companies which will have to bear considerable costs for adoption of these changes or to give up on a fair part of their Russian traffic.

It’s difficult to see the clear motivation behind this bill, however, as it is known, President Putin and his government have already made several moves to limiting the Russians’ access to information and free speech under the claims of fighting piracy and defending national security. Thus, they passed the law which entitles thestate telecommunications agency Roskomnadzortoblock sites on the basis of rightsholders’ take-down requests, and obliged the national providers of online services to provide the government with any user’s personal information upon request.

In view of the latest events in Ukraine aimed at democratic reformation of the country and the strong will of the Ukrainian nation to join the EU, the Ukraine’s IT community strongly disapproves of this recent tendency in Russian legislation.

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