Most of deputies have voted for the ‘fake web news’ law; it has passed in the third reading.
From now, the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) has the right to block websites spotted in spreading fake news. Online media outlets will be given the opportunity to ‘immediately’ remove such news. The change does not affect legacy media.
In addition, publishing false news invokes administrative penalty – a fine of 30,000-100,000 Russian rubles. If fake information causes deaths, one will be punishable by a fine of 300,000 – 400,000 rubles.
According to Russian lawmakers, fake news is ‘ inaccurate information which is presented as the truth and poses a threat of inflicting harm to life and (or) health of citizens, property; a threat of mass violations of public order and (or) public safety; a threat of obstructing (or terminating) the operation of critical sites, transport and social infrastructure, credit institutions, energy, industry or communications facilities.’
When it comes to the ‘immediate’ removal of the news, the MPs failed to define a specific period of time during which news should be erased. In every case, a decision will be up to a representative Roskomnadzor.
Today, Russian MPs have also adopted the law providing for penalties, including detention, for ‘indecently’ expressing disrespect for the authorities and symbols of the state on the Internet.