Russian lawmakers support tighter web controls


Russian lawmakers backed tighter Internet controls on Tuesday to defend against foreign meddling in draft legislation that critics warn could disrupt Russia’s Internet and be used to stifle dissent.

The legislation, which some Russian media have likened to an online “iron curtain,” passed its first of three readings in the 450-seat lower chamber of parliament.

The bill seeks to route Russian web traffic and data through points controlled by state authorities and proposes building a national Domain Name System to allow the Internet to continue functioning even if the country is cut off from foreign infrastructure.

The legislation was drafted in response to what its authors describe as an aggressive new U.S. national cyber security strategy passed last year.

The Agora human rights group said earlier this month that the legislation was one of several new bills drafted in December that “seriously threaten Internet freedom”.

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