MOSCOW, November 19. /TASS/. A bill to penalize tech giants for censoring and deplatforming Russian media, empowers Russia’s telecom and media watchdog to slow down the violator's traffic, one of the document’s authors, MP Anton Gorelkin told TASS on Thursday.
"Limiting access, which also includes slowing down traffic, is stipulated as a last-ditch justification against the blatant discrimination of Russian media on foreign platforms. I have always supported soft power and opposed shutdowns, but the state must have powerful alternatives in its reserve at all times for the most blatant violators of the law," said Gorelkin, a member of the State Duma (lower house) Committee on Informational Policy, Technologies and Communications.
Russia’s telecom and media watchdog, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, will be in charge of this measure, the lawmaker said.
Earlier, the MP noted that the bill would target major Internet giants such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. According to him, the violators would face fines of up to 3 mln rubles (nearly $40,000) and the respective amendments to the Administrative Offences Code would be submitted to the State Duma later.
On Thursday, a group of State Duma lawmakers along with Senator Alexei Pushkov submitted a bill to the lower house authorizing the telecom and media watchdog to block Internet resources, which censor Russian media outlets. The bill imposes the status of an owner of an information resource involved in violating fundamental human rights and freedoms in Russia. Russia’s top prosecutor with the consent of the Foreign Ministry can assign this status to the owner of an information resource, which permits discrimination against Russian media reports. The telecom and media watchdog could get the right to partially or fully limit access to these resources.