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Cyber security bill 'tightens screws' on the opposition, deputies warn

November 15, 2013, 14:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The bill is perceived too general and needs to be worked out in detail
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© EPA/MALTE CHRISTIANS

MOSCOW, November 15, (ITAR-TASS) - Deputies of parliament's A Just Russia party have struck out against a bill delegating broader powers to the Federal Security Service (FSB) to ensure Internet security.

“The screws can be turned so tightly that any opinion at variance with the official view will be subject to restrictions,” Mikhail Yemelyanov, deputy chairman of the party’s faction in the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament, told reporters on Friday. "We are especially concerned about the rights of the opposition,” he said.

The bill was too “general” and needed to be “worked out in detail,” the parliamentarian said, while acknowledging the need for extra measures to ensure on-line protection.

State Duma deputies on Friday begin the first reading of a government bill giving the FSB power to investigate activities threatening national information security.

Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin said “The FSB obtains authority to carry out investigative activity to prevent cyber security threats”. "The draft law aims to prevent crimes with the use of IT technologies, including crime having terrorist intent,” he said.

The bill specifies activity including “obtaining information on events or activity/inactivity creating a threat not only to military, economic or ecological security of the Russian Federation but also in the information sphere.”

Its authors seek to combat threats directed typically at information systems used by public authorities, financial, educational and media organisations, and at strategic infrastructure facilities.

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