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Russian MPs approve controversial bill restricting internet

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Russian lawmakers on Thursday approved in a key second reading a controversial bill that would allow Moscow to cut off the country’s internet traffic from foreign servers.

Lawmakers in the State Duma, parliament’s lower house, voted 320 to 15 to pass the proposed bill.

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It is set to take effect on November 1 once it formally becomes law.

The proposed measures would create technology to monitor internet routing and steer Russian internet traffic away from foreign servers, ostensibly to prevent a foreign country from shutting it down.

Authors of the initiative say Russia must ensure the security of its networks after US President Donald Trump unveiled a new American cybersecurity strategy last year that said Russia had carried out cyber attacks with impunity.

The legislation has been dubbed a “sovereign internet” bill by Russian media.

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Critics say implementing the measures would be expensive and give vast censorship powers to the government’s new traffic monitoring centre.

“It’s a bill on digital slavery and the introduction of censorship for the web,” said Sergei Ivanov, a member of the nationalist Liberal-Democratic Party.

The bill’s authors insist however that the measures only outline a plan to make Russian internet “more secure and reliable”.

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“The bill’s popular name — ‘The Chinese Firewall’ — has nothing to do with our initiative,” said Leonid Levin, a lawmaker from the ruling United Russia party which dominates Russian parliament.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump allies acquiring ‘dirt’ on journalists to take them down during the 2020 election

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President Donald Trump's war against the media has taken a next step. According to The New York Times, Trump's allies have been compiling information on reporters at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times to strike back because the president believes they "aggressively investigated" him.

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