Russia’s parliament passed a bill requiring all technology companies to store the personal data of their Russian users in the country.  The Russian clampdown is the first serious move to assert national control over segments of the web in the wake of the revelation of mass electronic surveillance by the US National Security Agency.  The Brazilian government proposed similar restrictions last year but later dropped the idea, the Financial Times reported on July 5th.

The rule, if fully implemented, could move Russia closer to the situation in China or Iran, which control online information through pervasive filtering and blocking of foreign services and heavily censored domestic ones.

A local storage requirement could prove costly and technically challenging for big technology companies such as GoogleFacebook and Twitter which serve Russian users from outside the country.

All three companies have recently come under fire from Russia’s internet regulator, Roskomnadzor, which complained about their lack of co-operation in blocking content deemed illegal by the Moscow authorities, and which threatened to block Twitter. Ilya Ponomarev, a lawmaker critical of Mr Putin, said that the move, “will be used as a bargaining point with Google and Facebook in the way they did it with
Twitter”.

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Source:  Financial Times