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Russian leader Putin signs ‘Big Brother’ law

It boosts the surveillance powers for the security services by requiring communication providers to store users’ calls, messages, photographs and videos for six months, and the Metadata for up to three years.

Jul 8, 2016 14:20 IST
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Russian President Vladimir Putin in July 2016 signed the “anti-terrorist” legislation adopted by the lower and upper houses of parliament in June 2016.

This anti-terror amendment is dubbed as Big Brother by US intelligence contractor turned privacy activist Edward Snowden.

Critics say that the measures may cost billions to the internet and telecom companies.

Highlights of the legislation

• Law enforcement agencies will be granted access to any user’s messages without any judicial oversight.

• It boosts the surveillance powers for the security services by requiring communication providers to store users’ calls, messages, photographs and videos for six months, and the Metadata for up to three years.

• They will have to provide Federal Security Service (FSB) with access to this data and any necessary encryption mechanisms necessary to use it.

• The law also criminalises several offences and lowers the age of criminal responsibility to 14 from certain crimes.

• It extends prison sentences for online crimes like abetting terrorism.

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