The Russian government has told internet giants Facebook, Twitter and Google they must register as ‘organisers of information distribution’ and adhere to strict regulations that apply to the country’s media outlets.
Once registered, the companies would be required to store data about their Russian users on servers within the country. It’s a law that, according to The Moscow Times, “paves the way for banning the few remaining platforms of free speech in the country”.
Speaking to Russian newspaper Izvestia, Maxim Ksenzov, deputy chief of Roskomnadzor, the organisation responsible for the control and supervision of media, said that if Google, Facebook or Twitter “do not obey with the demands of the Russian law, they will be subjected to administrative sanctions. Those three resources must make a decision about placing their data centres in Russia”.
“If websites do not register, Roskomnadzor has the right to send them a second notice demanding they rectify the violation within 15 days.
“Otherwise, the agency has the right to blacklist the online platform – that is, to block it from access by Russian web users.”
The law also requires bloggers with more than 3,000 daily readers to adhere to the same regulations.
Facebook, Twitter and Google have until the end of this year to register with Roskomnadzor.
Facebook and Twitter image via Shutterstock