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Russia’s Federation Council approves law penalizing fake news and disrespect toward the government

The Federation Council of the Russian Federation gave its approval to two new bills despite opposition from another federal agency. The bills would penalize Internet users and online media for publishing “unreliable” information of social significance or spreading “obscene” criticisms of the Russian government, its symbols, or some of its members.

On March 11, Russia’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights requested that the Federal Council reject both bills in their current form and send them back to the State Duma to be amended. The Presidential Council’s experts found that both bills contain vague language and a number of potential loopholes that could be abused.