Russia’s upper house of parliament approves anti-fake news bills
MOSCOW, March 13 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, on Wednesday approved a package of bills introducing fines of up to 1.5 million rubles ($22,900) for distributing fake news on the Internet.
The lower house of parliament, the State Duma, adopted the draft laws on March 7.
The document envisages that the circulation of unreliable socially important information threatening life or health of people, posing risks of civil disorder or to security and leading to other heavy consequences under the guise of trustworthy reports is to be banned. The same applies to false reports resulting in threats to the functioning of vital infrastructure, transportation or social infrastructure, credit organizations, energy, industry or communications facilities.
Russia’s communications watchdog Roskomnadzor is empowered to interact with network media outlets under a special procedure. The agency is to request a media outlet to delete certain information and to block the outlet if it fails to comply within the prescribed time limit.
Yet another document envisages imposition of fines for such violations if those are not to be criminally prosecuted ranging from 30,000 to 100,000 rubles ($455 – 1,500) for individuals, from 60,000 to 200,000 rubles ($900 – 3,000) for officials, from 200,000 to 500,000 rubles ($3,000 – 7,600) for organizations.
Circulation of fake reports posing risks for the functioning of vital infrastructure, transportation or social infrastructure, credit organizations, energy, industry or communications facilities are also to be punished by fines up to 300,000 rubles ($4,500) for individuals, 600,000 ($9,000) for officials and 1 million ($15,000) for companies.
In case fake news result in injuries or deaths, or other serious consequences, the fines are to make 300,000 to 400,000 rubles ($4,500 – 6,000) for individuals, 600,000 to 900,000 rubles ($9,000 – 13,500) for officials and 1 to 1.5 million ($15,000 – 22,800) for companies.