The Free Internet Project

Russia

Russia's new "right to be forgotten" law goes into effect

On Jan. 1, 2016, Russia's new "right to be forgotten" (RTBF) law went into effect.  The law is similar to the EU right to be forgotten, which requires search engines to remove links to web postings from searches of a person's name if the postings are old, false, or no longer relevant.  Russia's law, however, does not allow removals of criminal convictions even if the terms of prison or punishment have been served. By contrast, the EU allows removals of links based on criminal convictions if, e.g., the country recognizes the expungement of the criminal record upon completion of the punishment.  Russia's law is also different from the EU law in that Russia's law specifically sets a time period of 3 to 10 days for the search engine to respond to a RTBF request made by a person.

Russia's new Right to Be Forgotten law goes into effect in 2016

On Jan. 1, 2016, Russia's new "right to be forgotten" (RTBF) law went into effect.  The law is similar to the EU right to be forgotten, which requires search engines to remove links to web postings from searches of a person's name if the postings are old, false, or no longer relevant.  Russia's law, however, does not allow removals of criminal convictions even if the terms of prison or punishment have been served. By contrast, the EU allows removals of links based on criminal convictions if, e.g., the country recognizes the expungement of the criminal record upon completion of the punishment.  Russia's law is also different from the EU law in that Russia's law specifically sets a time period of 3 to 10 days for the search engine to respond to a RTBF request made by a person.

Russia enacts right to be forgotten law

Russian Premier Vladimir Putin signed a new "right to be forgotten" law, which becomes effective Jan. 1, 2016 in Russia. People in Russia have a right to request search engines to remove links to stories generated by a search of their names if the information (1) violates Russian law, (2) is false, or (3) “become outdated due to later events or actions of the individual.”  Excluded from such requests are criminal activity for which the statute of limitations has not expired and convictions for which the punishment has been completed or removed. Unlike the EU right to be forgotten, the Russian law sets forth a time frame of 10 days for search engines to respond to a person's RTBF request.  If the search engines fails to respond within 10 days, the person can seek a court order.  [More from Global Voices and the Runet]

Russia closer to passing right to be forgotten law

Russia's Duma voted in favor of a bill recognizing a right to be forgotten in Russia, by a 423 in favor and 1 against.  If enacted, the law would give people the right to request search engines to remove links to articles containing personal information about them that is erroneous or false. If the bill is finally passed, it would go into effect in Jan. 2016. Critics fear the law would enable politicians and others to censor truthful information about them. [via Global Voices, June 16, 2015]

Russia considers new right to be forgotten law

Russia is considering enacting a new law that recognizes a right to be forgotten in Russia, similar to the EU right to be forgotten. According to the Russia Insider, the Russian RTBF could be invoked if the information in the article is “misleading or distributed in violation of the law."  Russian presidential aide Igor Shchyogolev reportedly is pushing for the enactment of the law. Critics fear that a RTBF law will be used by the Russian government to further its censorship of the Internet, however, especially given that the proposed RTBF law would be enforced by the state communications regulator Roskomnadzor, which already has power to order the blocking of websites.

Facebook, Google, Twitter won't comply with Russia's orders to remove info on opposition rally

The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter appear to plan on defying Russia's communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, which has ordered them to block information related to a January 15 rally for opposition leader Alexei Navalny posted on the U.S. social media sites accessible in Russia. Navalny is under house arrest under charges of fraud that his supporters claim are trumped up charges to silence the opposition. 

According to WSJ, Roskomnadzor issued its orders under a new law in Russia that authorizes prosecutors to issue such orders without court authorization or involvement.  

Russia's "Blogger law" goes into effect for sites with 3,000 daily visitors

Russia's new "Blogger law" goes into effect today.  It requires all blogs in Russia that attract 3,000 daily visitors or more "to register with the state watchdog Roskomnadzor, disclose their real identity and follow the same rules as journalists working in conventional state-registered mass media," according to Russia Times. In the United States, treating bloggers like professional journalists usually is a good thing, offering full First Amendment protections.  In Russia, it's the exact opposite.

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