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Duma Tightens Control Over Bloggers, Social Networks

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Russia's State Duma has passed tough new restrictions on social networking sites and bloggers.

Deputies voted on April 22 on a third and final reading to approve a new "antiterrorist" package that obligates companies engaged in the transfer of electronic messages -- including foreign firms such as Google -- to register with state communications bodies.

The new law stipulates those companies must store information on all the messages routed through their site for six months at an Internet provider located on Russian territory.

Another part of the law obligates bloggers whose personal websites or pages on social networks have 3,000 or more visitors per day to declare their family name and e-mail address to authorities.

Bloggers will also have to abide by rules applicable to mass media, including libel, extremism, and the authenticity of published information or face first-time penalties of up to $1,000.

Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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Tags: Russia