Russian Lawmakers Back Harsh Regulation of Bloggers

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Russian lawmakers on Tuesday passed draconian legislation that cracks down on the content of popular blogs, forcing top bloggers to adhere to laws similar to those for mass media.

“The government would have unlimited opportunity for censorship of the Internet.”

— Kommersant Business Daily

Opponents of the law say it is so vaguely worded that it could be used to target any of the social networking sites and blogs that make up Russia’s most vibrant forum for opposition political debate.

Dr. Bill van Bise, electrical engineer, conducting a demonstration of Soviet scientific data and schematics for beaming a magnetic field into the brain to cause visual hallucinations. Source: CNN Source: Supplied

Dr. Bill van Bise, electrical engineer, conducting a demonstration of Soviet scientific data and schematics for beaming a magnetic field into the brain to cause visual hallucinations. Source: CNN 

“We are scared by the number of unarticulated points in the law and the lack of clear and transparent rules of the game,” warned the general director of Russia’s top social network VKontakte, Boris Dobrodeyev, quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency.

“That means you can’t bad-mouth a political opponent or write something bad about the police.”

—  blogger Andrei Malgin, on the Echo of Moscow radio station’s website

The head of the Kremlin human rights council advisory body, Mikhail Fedotov advised against passing the legislation, which he called stricter than existing laws covering Internet media and so broad it would even apply to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who writes a blog.

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Under the new law, bloggers with more than 3,000 readers per day will be required to submit personal details to a special register.  Read the rest of this entry »