Which Runet sites will be closed

Which Runet sites will be closed

By Vestnik Kavkaza

This year the Federation Council approved the law on restricting the share of foreign shareholders in Russian mass media. At the moment the law restricts participation of foreign capital in Russian television and radio to 50%, at the same time it doesn’t touch on printed and internet media. However, according to a new law, from January 1st, 2016, the share of foreign capital in any Russian mass media mustn’t exceed 20 percent.

According to RBK, the amendments will touch on four broadcasters (STS, Domashny, Peretz, and Disney), Russian versions of Western TV-channels (Discovery, TV 1000, Eurosport, Cartoon Networks, and so on), and major publishing houses (Burda, Hearst Shkulev Media, Sanoma Independent Media, Bauer Media, Edipress-Konliga, and so on).

According to the initiators of the law, the current rules permit foreigners to control founders of media and influence strategic decisions; sometimes such influence could threaten the information security of the state and harm the rights and freedoms of citizens.

At the same time, the President Putin held a session of the Security Council on resisting threats to national security in the information sphere. “Some countries try to use their dominant positions in the global information space to reach not only economic, but also military and political goals. They actively use information systems as tools of so-called soft power to achieve their interests,” the President said.

According to him, “corresponding services” register a steady rise in the number of computer attacks against Russian information resources. Over the last six months, the number of attacks has increased very rapidly. At the same time, the methods, resources and tactics used to carry out these attacks are improving and their frequency is directly linked to the current international situation.

Putin said that Moscow cooperates with members of the SCO and BRICS in the sphere of providing international information security. “At the last BRICS summit, for example, our countries’ leaders condemned the mass electronic surveillance and personal data collection that has been practised by particular countries’ security services. We consider this a direct violation of national sovereignty and human rights, especially the right to inviolability of private life,” Putin stated.

It is interesting that, ahead of the session, there were rumors that possibly all Russians could lose internet access. However, Putin promised that the state has no intention of restricting access to the internet, control it totally, make the internet governmental, or restrict the legal interests and opportunities for people, social organizations and business in the information sphere. “There will be no unjustified restrictions,” Putin said, even though he admitted that some sites propagandise terrorism and extremism, xenophobia and religious hatred, or that on the global internet one can also find child pornography and detailed information on how to manufacture drugs or commit suicide. Such sites will be closed.