The Law on the Computing Internet and Digital Media in Russian
There is a lot to learn about the law on the Computing Internet and Digital Media in Russia, and this article will cover some important issues. In particular, we will talk about the Sovereign Internet Law and Blogger's Law. We'll also look at the controls over content on the internet. So, what can we expect in the Russian internet world? Here are some important questions to ask yourself before you begin exploring the law.
Sovereign Internet Law in Russia
While the implications of the new Russian Sovereign Internet Law are unclear, the new legislation does carry concrete risks. For example, it would allow the government to use mandatory "technical equipment for counteracting threats" to prioritize and delay traffic. This could mean slow or even unavailability for particular websites or services. Such prioritization could also compromise network neutrality, and could result in discrimination against companies not protected by the Russian state.
In recent years, Russia has introduced a robust legal framework and plethora of new regulations to chart the path to digital sovereignty. This includes a data localization law, an import substitution law for IT products, and a draft legislation that mandates the use of Russian-made systems for the 5G network. However, the implementation of the law will be challenging, experts say. But there are some positive signs of upcoming changes.
Russia's new Internet legislation is not a response to the US National Cyber Security Strategy. Since 2012, Russia has been actively criticizing ICANN, the organization that coordinates the global DNS, assigns IP addresses, and governs the internet. It is pushing for a new internet governance model based on strong state sovereignty and the ITU. This new law could make the internet a much more effective medium for achieving the goals of the digital economy.
As of June 2018, Russia tightened the laws on "foreign agents" to limit the usage of VPNs. It has also launched a database to track the IMEI codes of mobile phones. And it has instructed government officials not to use instant messaging and video conference software developed by foreign firms. It has also introduced a draft law to prevent foreign software from being used in critical infrastructure by 2025. Sovereign Internet Law in Russia should be considered carefully.
The Russian law also allows the Kremlin to shut down the Internet if it feels that it poses a threat to society. The law also requires internet service providers to install network equipment called DPI (deep packet inspection) to identify the source of traffic and filter content. This equipment will allow Roskomnadzor to block sites more effectively. In fact, it may not even be possible to prevent these attacks from happening.
As the era of cyberwarfare becomes more sophisticated, Russia is trying to secure its own digital space, which enables a vast array of services that are not controlled by state authorities. The rise of "super-apps" is a prime example, including the popular Yandex, which combines ride-hailing, food delivery, music streaming, digital assistants, and cloud computing. Increasingly, these services are even used for self-driving cars. In addition, the largest Russian bank, Sber, has set out to build its own ecosystem of services and is trying to turn it into a tech conglomerate, investing more than $1bn in the first half of 2021, which is comparable to what big European banks spend on their IT budgets.
The government of Russia has reportedly ordered businesses to move their services to Russian servers, but these are not always located in Russia. Instead, large organisations often host services in distant locations. Such hosting services enable them to offer enhanced technologies to their users, and help them cut costs. Moreover, these firms also use content delivery networks to host their content across multiple servers around the world. By doing so, Russian users can receive the best possible speed and reliability, as well as be resilient against outages.
While there are some differences between Russia's technology and its Western counterparts, its leadership has outlined a digital sovereignty strategy in the past decade. Russia has developed numerous regulations and legal frameworks in an effort to gain independence in the IT sector, but its market share remains very low. While Russian companies are increasingly using Western products and services, their share of the global semiconductor market is less than 1%. Their share in the market for business software is similar to Western wares.
Despite this, the digital market in Russia is competitive and diverse, and its prospects for developing technology sovereignty are very bright. However, the regime has imposed numerous restrictions on the IT sector, which has distorted the concept of digital sovereignty. Its efforts to censor foreign tech companies have restricted the potential for technological development and stifled the voice of siloviki. These restrictions are not only counterproductive to Russia's own technology development, but also undermine its own sovereignty in the digital realm.
In Russia, the new law on bloggers is threatening the freedom of expression and speech of ordinary citizens. Under the new law, bloggers must register as a media outlet and abide by the rules and regulations that apply to larger media outlets. This means that bloggers cannot remain anonymous on the Internet and must divulge their full name, email address and other information. Bloggers also face heavy fines if they publish unchecked facts or self-published content. In some cases, a fine of up to 500,000 rubles and/or 30 days of suspension can be imposed on violators.
The law also sets forth guidelines for "organizers of information distribution," which include Facebook, Twitter, and VKontakte. The Russian government has repeatedly used this law to restrict the performance of social media sites like Twitter. This law aims to restrict the freedom of speech of Russian citizens while still protecting the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation. This law also requires that Western-based social networks agree to external audits conducted by Russian government agencies. Failure to comply with the law can lead to heavy fines and even the blockade of certain network websites and platforms in Russia. Facebook declined to comment on the Russian law, saying it did not intend to change its policies or its practices.
Under the new law, social networks are no longer allowed to store user data outside Russia. In Russia, this means that any operator of social networks must notify Roscomnadzor of their location. It also sets up a Register of Infringers of Personal Data Subjects. If the law is not met, the operator may be added to the Register and their internet addresses blocked. This could be detrimental to the growth of social media in Russia.
Despite the fact that the Russian government's Internet policy was implemented five years ago, there was a wave of active blogging on the Russian internet. Popular bloggers gained an audience that exceeds that of the mainstream media. In fact, the Internet was a major factor in anti-government protests in 2011 and 2012.
Controls over online content
While many Western countries have made strides in media liberalization, Russia has not. In Russia, the state is actively engaged in regulating online content, especially news. Russian media regulators have moved beyond controlling content to targeting producers and algorithmic infrastructures. These changes, in particular, will have a profound effect on the way that news is distributed. Let's examine five key changes in the Russian law that may affect news production.
The first step to limit the spread of inflammatory news is to make news aggregators register as mass media and adhere to relevant regulations. News aggregators are responsible for a large portion of online news distribution in Russia. At the time of the Russian law's passage, Yandex News alone was estimated to generate 30% of the country's online media traffic. The decisions made by news aggregators affect the amount of traffic that a media outlet or news source receives through redirection.
However, it is not clear if the Kremlin has the technical capabilities to replicate such a sophisticated system of censorship. However, the Kremlin has repeatedly butted heads with tech companies, and a recent attempt to block Telegram was ultimately abandoned. In addition, the communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, has been imposing increasing fines on social media companies for noncompliance. YouTube was blocked last year.
The upcoming Russian elections may mark a turning point in the Kremlin's intolerant approach to society. The results of these elections may demonstrate whether a cyber sovereignty strategy is sufficient to maintain internet freedom and prevent ham-handed coercive action. Mass arrests of independent candidates, internet service shutdown, and increased prosecutions of internet users may result from this election. Therefore, the results of the election may reveal whether or not the Kremlin is implementing a comprehensive strategy to control the internet.
In an effort to ensure that its citizens' privacy is protected, the Russian government has developed an internet filtering system for the entire country. These authorities keep a central database, known as the Single Register, to keep tabs on internet activity. These blacklists have already banned hundreds of websites. In addition, Russian authorities are actively monitoring every point of access to the internet. Library and Internet cafes are routinely checked. Those with sensitive personal information are regularly searched and may be barred from access to the Internet.