Russia wants to fine Internet search engines over banned sites links

Russia wants to fine Internet search engines over banned sites links

The government has proposed to clarify amendments to it.⁠

The draft law, imposing fines of up to 700 thousand rubles ($12.1 thousand) on search engines for giving links to banned sites, has passed the first reading in the State Duma. The government proposes to clarify whether these measures will extend to search engines that do not stop issuing links to pirated sites and their copies.

Today, the State Duma has approved the draft law on Amendments to the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses in first reading. The amendments by deputies Maksim Kudryavtsev (United Russia), Nikolay Ryzhak (Fair Russia), and Aleksandr Yushchenko (Communist Party) oblige operators of search engines to filter out the search results, taking into account the data in the register of prohibited sites maintained by Roskomnadzor, for which the search engines will be required to have access to black list database. Operators of search engines should also prevent links to information resources, the access to which is limited in the Russian Federation in accordance with the law ‘On Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection’, from appearing in search results.

The following fines are provided for violation of the requirement to connect to the information resource of Roskomnadzor and for showing banned sites in search results: 5 thousand rubles ($86) — for citizens, 50 thousand rubles ($865) — for officials, 500–700 thousand rubles (from $8.6 to $12.1 thousand) — for legal persons.

In addition, the law imposes responsibility on the owners of information resources and programs that can be used for accessing blocked sites, such as VPN services, anonymizers, etc. If they do not provide Roscomnadzor with information that allows them to be identified, or give knowingly untrue information, a fine of 10–30 thousand rubles ($173–$519) for citizens, and 50–300 thousand rubles ($865–$5.19 thousand) — for legal persons, is envisioned. For repeated violations during the year, citizens will be fined 30–50 thousand rubles ($519–$865), legal persons – 300–500 thousand rubles ($5.19–$8.65 thousand) or administrative suspension of activities for up to 30 days.

The government has supported the draft law, taking into account its amendment, says the report by Head of the Government Personnel Sergey Prikhodko of September 7. In particular, he proposed to clarify whether administrative responsibility extends to operators of search engines that continue to show the information about domain names and indexes of pirate pages, and also their copies (mirrors) in search results.

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