December Internet Freedom Update

RUSSIA

The Central Bank will be empowered to block websites

The State Duma introduced a bill providing for the possibility of the Central Bank restricting access to internet resources that violate legislation on the financial market

(Source: https://roskomsvoboda.org/43704/)

Group Forced to Take Back Prison Corruption Exposure

The human rights organization “Russia Sitting” (“Русь сидящую”) has been ordered by the governent to refute information published online about prison corruption. This is following a lawsuit by the Sverdlovsk penal colony.

(Source: https://www.roskomsvoboda.org/43981/)

The “Yarovaya package” is expected to increase prices on the internet

Some Internet providers in Moscow are raising prices for their services. In particular, one of the oldest providers in the capital, RiNet, announced that from January 1, 2019, the cost of services will increase by 5%. The company explained this by the fact that in 2018, a number of initiatives requiring “multimillion-dollar costs” came into force: including the law on increasing VAT from 18% to 20%, the “Yarovaya package” (which requires mass storage of data),and amendments to the government resolution on cooperation with bodies engaged in operational investigative activities.

(Source: https://roskomsvoboda.org/43847/)

State-owned companies will be forbidden to import software

First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Anton Siluanov approved the Directive on the Transition of Russian State-Owned Companies to Russian Software. As reported by Vedomosti with reference to a copy of the document, the enterprises were asked to develop a “clear plan” for such a transition by 2021. These are companies from the No. 91-p list approved by the government back in 2003. It includes Aeroflot, Gazprom, Sheremetyevo, Rosneft, Russian Railways, Channel One, RUSNANO, VTB, etc. Within ten days after receiving the directives, the companies should initiate meetings that include the issue of substituting imported software.

(Source: https://roskomsvoboda.org/43847/)

Russia sets fines for Facebook and Twitter

Roskomnadzor has set a fine for Facebook and Twitter of 5,000 rubles. By January 17, 2019, both companies are required to provide “legally significant” answers about the requirement to localize user databases in Russia, otherwise they will be fined.

Facebook and Twitter have not yet localized their user databases in Russia and have been notified of the need to comply with the law. Roskomnadzor is waiting for a response by January 17, the Head of the Department Alexander Zharov told reporters. According to him, on December 17 Roskomnadzor sent Facebook and Twitter notifications about the need to comply with the legislation of the Russian Federation in the field of user data.

(Source: https/roskomsvoboda.org/43902/)

Russia and UK investigate each other’s media

(Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46648010)

Much of above content is translated from RoskomSvoboda

 

US

ICE rises above the Constitution, seizes websites without due process

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20181213/18030341224/ice-seizes-over-1-million-websites-with-no-due-process-apparently-unaware-that-copyright-trademark-are-different.shtml

INDIA

India initiates hardcore mass-surveillance

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/all-computers-can-now-be-monitored-by-govt-agencies/article25792523.ece

AUSTRALIA

Australia outlaws encryption, will share the data with US and other former colonies

Australia’s vague anti-encryption law sets a dangerous new precedent

GLOBAL

Automakers give the Chinese government access to location data of electric cars

https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/30/18120148/car-companies-china-location-data-electric-cars-mercedes-tesla