Russian lawmakers approve fines against those who circumvent Internet censorship
Lawmakers in the State Duma have adopted a final draft of legislation that imposes administrative fines on violations of Russia’s ban on Internet anonymizers that grant access to online content blocked by the federal censor.
According to the bill, individuals who break the law will face fines as high as 5,000 rubles ($80), officials will face fines as high as 50,000 rubles ($800), and legal entities could be fined as much as 700,000 rubles ($11,230). Internet search engines will also be required to connect to the Federal State Information System, which will list the websites banned in Russia. Failure to connect to this system can result in fines as high as 300,000 rubles ($4,800).
Russia’s law on VPN services and Internet anonymizers entered force on November 1, 2017. The Federal Security Agency and other law enforcement agencies are authorized to designate websites and online services that violate Russia’s Internet censorship. In February 2018, Roskomnadzor stated that the FSB has yet to make any designations in this capacity.