Russia's New 'Blogger's Law' Tightens Grip on Internet

Putin also signs law banning swearing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2014 5:01 AM CDT
Russia's New 'Blogger's Law' Tightens Grip on Internet
Russian President Vladimir Putin smiles during a meeting with the People's Front activists at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow.   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti Kremlin, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

Russia's Internet is going to start looking a lot more like China's under a restrictive new law signed by Vladimir Putin, critics say. The measure dubbed the "blogger's law" will remove anonymity from bloggers and declares any website with more than 3,000 daily visitors to be a media outlet required to publish accurate information, but without the legal protections journalists have, the New York Times finds. The law comes just weeks after Putin claimed that the Internet began "as a special CIA project."

The law, which comes amid a wider crackdown on the Internet, also requires email providers and social networks to make user information available to Russian security services, NPR reports. "The objective of those laws is to block the Russian Internet from the rest of the world," warns popular blogger Anton Nosik, "and to shut down the biggest foreign social networks, to block access to foreign social networks for Russian users, and to establish control over networks that are physically based in Russia." And bloggers aren't the only ones facing a crackdown: Another law signed by Putin earlier this week bans swearing in movies, TV shows, concerts, and other forms of entertainment, CNN reports. New movies with swearing won't be allowed in cinemas, while copies of older ones will come with warning labels. (More Russia stories.)

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