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Russian lawmakers want to restrict email access by telephone verification, and force providers to block banned information

Russian senators have drafted legislation that would require Internet users to verify their identity using their phone numbers, before gaining access to email. The State Duma previously adopted a law that imposes the same restrictions on the use of instant messengers.

Led by senators Andrey Klishas and Alexander Bashkin, the lawmakers have also proposed requiring email services to block messages containing information banned in Russia within 24 hours of being notified by the state authorities.

“The adoption of this legislation will significantly reduce the number of false terrorist messages distributed through email services, create the legal conditions for bringing criminals to justice, and reduce the economic damage from such communications,” claims the draft law’s explanatory note.

Senators Klishas and Bashkin were co-authors of Russia’s notorious “RuNet isolation” law, which passed earlier this year. Thanks to that legislation, Russia’s federal authorities gained the power to control Russia’s Internet exchange points with the outside world. The law theoretically makes it possible for the state to create an infrastructure that would allow Russia’s Internet to operate in isolation from the rest of the world. Roskomnadzor, the government’s official censor, is responsible for coordinating this new “sustainable and safe” Internet.

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