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Communications ministry against separate law on Internet

July 13, 2013, 6:29 UTC+3

Deputy Minister Denis Sverdlov expressed the view during hearings at the Civic Chamber

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MOSCOW, July 13 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s Ministry of Communications does not see why the country may need a special law, regulating the Internet.

Deputy Minister Denis Sverdlov expressed the view during hearings at the Civic Chamber.

“The civic-legal relations should be technologically neutral. If we have a buy-sell deal, we do not care how it was made: on the Internet, or by any other means,” Sverdlov said. Thus, the ministry “does not think it necessary t have a separate law on the Internet.”

“We believe it necessary to make changes, which settle certain problems we are facing now, to the laws we have,” the deputy minister said.

At the same time, the deputy minister continued, the ministry supports the State Duma’s concept of legal breaches arousing from use of the Internet in the Russian Federation.

“Its major idea is not to offer anything new, but to regulate outstanding problematic issues,” Head of the Russian Association of Electronic Communications Sergei Plugotarenko said. “The idea is that the concept should offer immunity from “bad” laws, which may be passed in future.” The expert continued saying all bills outside the concept should pass public discussions.

The concept was offered by the State Duma’s committee on information policy, information technologies and communication. It has passed the discussion on the Internet already. The document outlines basic problems in legal relations on the Internet, which require regulation, and stresses it is necessary to observe rights of the Internet users.

Chairman of the presidential council on development of the civil society and human rights Mikhail Fedotov says Russia needs a basic law on the Internet.

“The situation with the legal regulation of the Internet is bad,” he said. Legal initiatives regarding the Internet “are not systematic and are chaotic.”

“We have been using the notions like “the Internet”, “official site,” but those notions are not described legally,” Fedotov said adding legal gaps should be eliminated. “We are lacking a basic law, which could offer notions and limits of the state’s influence.”

Fedotov said Russia should work at least on a block of laws “where everything is smooth and which may be integrated easily into the legal system.”



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