Russian authorities are against Telegram, Twitter and Facebook. Why defend digital sovereignty?

What happened?

The social network Facebook blocked an article by Vzglyad, RBC and TASS media. Social network blocked

publications of these and other publications (RT, RIA Novosti and radio Sputnik RT, Komsomolskaya Pravda and NTV), since she considered the information contained in their materials to be false.

Representatives of the publications explained that they usedin their news publications, data from the official press release of the FSB on this topic and insist on the correct presentation of this information. In fact, Facebook marked the reprinted data from the FSB materials as fake.

Position of the Russian authorities

RKN considers such Facebook actions to be an act of censorship.The department clarified that the blocking of official publications by the social network violates the key principles of the free distribution of information and unhindered access to it.

According to the Federal Law of 24.02.2021 No. 19-FZ "On Amendments to the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation", restricting the right of Russians to freely search for information will entail the imposition of an administrative fine on the owners of the social network of up to 1 million rubles. In case of a repeated offense, the amount of the fine will be up to 3 million rubles.

Also, the authorities oppose the mass collectiondata of Russian citizens, on this basis Roskomnadzor demanded that Telegram block all bots that collect, distribute for payment and allow you to quickly get almost all personal data of any resident of the country.

The department also asked law enforcement agencies to pay attention to the illegal actions of these services and to identify the owners of the bots involved in the dissemination of personal information.

The publication turned to Telegram to confirm that the messenger had received a notification from the RKN demanding to restrict the work of bots, but the company did not respond to the request.

Facebook position

The Ukrainian fact-checking platform StopFake is called the contractor who checked the messages of Russian publications.

“In Voronezh, indeed, on charges ofextremism, three local residents were detained, but all the defendants in the case are citizens of the Russian Federation, were members of a Russian nationalist organization and have nothing to do with Ukraine, ”RBC quotes a message from the StopFake expert.

Social networks urged minors to go to rallies?

The magistrate's court in Moscow received a total of12 protocols against social networks Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, as well as Google, which are accused of not deleting content calling for teenagers to participate in unsanctioned protests.

We are talking about "offenses" committed from 22 to 24 January, Zulfiya Gurinchuk, press secretary of the Tagansky District Court of Moscow, explained to Interfax.

Court sessions for the consideration of the protocols inIn relation to TikTok and Telegram, they were appointed in the 422nd magistrate court of the Tagansky district of Moscow for April 6, in the case of other social networks and Google - for April 2. The punishment for the offense provides for a fine from 800 thousand to 4 million rubles.

The authorities are going to introduce new laws for "digital sovereignty". What is it?

According to activists of digital sovereignty,personal data of users should only be collected with their consent, or at least users should be informed that all data is being collected.

In addition, they argue that the user's personal data should be stored in a data center that is present in the country where the user resides or uses the Internet.

However, this is impractical as this is the age of cloudycomputing, and almost all major websites or companies have their data centers spread across a range of countries with different IT and cloud laws.

The best solution for this is to find common ground and formulate a powerful but similar set of rules that apply to all data centers, regardless of the country in which they operate.

These rules will determine who ownsdata and in what form. The type of encryption must be the same in different countries, so the same level of protection applies to all data centers.

The same rules can tell who can access what data and how it can be accessed.

How do the Russian authorities control social media now?

A group of State Duma deputies on November 19 submittedconsideration by the Chamber of a bill that will block any social network or other site if they remove "socially significant information" (or "restrict the right of citizens to freely seek, receive, transmit, produce and distribute" such information).

Roskomnadzor considers any blocking "an actcensorship ". At the same time, the department itself regularly requires social networks and search engines to remove (or limit search results) content that does not suit the Russian authorities: from extremist to political messages and videos.

The right to determine what constitutes "socially significant information" and whether any resource has really restricted access to it is given to the Prosecutor General's Office in agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Prosecutor General's Office sends its decision toRoskomnadzor, which then adds the site owners to the list of “owners of information resources involved in violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms,” and informs them about this within 24 hours.

If they do not eliminate the violations within a certain period of time, Roskomnadzor may fully or partially block access to the site by sending appropriate instructions to telecom operators.

There may be other response measures provided for by the legislation of the Russian Federation. One of the authors of the law, Anton Gorelkin, said that fines of up to 3 million rubles could be imposed on violators.

What laws are going to be introduced to achieve “digital sovereignty”?

State Duma Commission on Fact Investigationinterference in the affairs of Russia from the outside has "certain proposals and developments" to protect digital sovereignty in order to continue to prevent blocking of materials of Russian media in social networks, the head of the commission Vasily Piskarev told reporters.

Viacheslav Volodin said that parliamentarians will propose legislative solutions that would not allow this in relation to Russian media in the future.

We fully support this proposal.The issue was repeatedly discussed at a meeting of the commission, and we have certain proposals and developments. I would like to hear from the management of the social network an answer to the question: does this blocking of materials circulated in the media by Russian special services to inform their citizens that Facebook supports the actions of extremist neo-Nazi groups in Russia?

Viacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma

He stressed that such actions are unacceptable and must be assessed in accordance with Russian law.

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