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Russia votes to block web services that don’t store data within the country by 2016

The Russian parliament passed a new bill (in both houses) that will require companies to store data about its citizens on servers located within the country, reports AFP.

The vote happened on Friday, which coincidentally is the U.S. holiday to celebrate the country’s independence from foreign influence. And as VentureBeat previously reported, the new bill will force any company that stores data from (or about) a Russian citizen to store that data on a server within the country by September 2016 or risk getting blocked.

Essentially, this gives the government the authority to dictate what can and cannot be put on the Internet, regardless of the reason. The move is very clearly targeting huge services like Facebook, Twitter, and Google — as well as any other major Internet service operating outside the country.

“Most Russians don’t want their data to leave Russia for the United States, where it can be hacked and given to criminals,” Russian MP Vadim Dengin told AFP. “Our entire lives are stored over there.”

Dengin raises a valid concern, but this bill seems like the wrong way to go about it. Forcing all international companies to set up servers in Russia (via a server built to spec and approved by the government) means that the Russian government could more easily gain access to all the data about its citizens. It also has the benefit of boosting popular Russian competitors like Mail.ru (a Gmail rival), Yandex (search engine rival to Google), and VKontakte (a Facebook rival) — among others.

The move comes just a week after reports surfaced that Russia wants to build its own microprocessors to replace those that currently use chips from Intel and AMD. Again, this could be done to improve security on computers within the country, or it could be another step towards a tech-focused cold war.


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41 comments
Al Leo
Al Leo

... so looks like you almost got the point! you may benefit from few more steps from us-delirium to Earth. ;) Keep breathing and working hard ...

Roman Mikhaylov
Roman Mikhaylov

So if a Russian is getting a US visa for example, where should that info be stored? Confusing.

Mark Pannell
Mark Pannell

...says the German commenting on an article by a U.S.-based blog on a U.S.-based social network. You wanna keep your data? Develop your own services, moron.

Paul Fitz-George
Paul Fitz-George

Russia returns to what it was...an authoritarian state that desires to control not just the bodies but the minds of its citizens, the ultimate in slavery.

Ally Mac
Ally Mac

Yeah, I guess the Fact that Russia stepped in & STOPPED a mass ethnic cleansing in Crimea by the Ukraine govt, All backed by the good ole US, made them a bit of a target for the big bad wolf again. THE DAY US PEOPLE WAKE UP & realise just how much they are distributed lies on a daily basis, maybe the world will turn into a better place.

Josh Horowitz
Josh Horowitz

It is not a law yet! VentureBeat forget to mention that. See the AFP reference link in the article.

Renato T. Boca
Renato T. Boca

Here in Brazil, our stupid president tried something similar a few months ago. But that was so ridiculous that even the stupid labor party, that rules Brazil nowadays couldn't approve it.

Pavel Gusev
Pavel Gusev

Are you unaware of the "conflict" between our governments? Your local sources will write and repost whatever is needed to be written or reposted, same goes for our local sources as well. Some facts are true of course but they are almost always put in the wrong light or are being diluted with fake facts.

Al Leo
Al Leo

Not the data, but personal data! You are just f-ing morons - assumptions in the article is just a continuous us-delirium. Europeans already challenged the data-in-us issue and moving to the similar goal as well. Just work hard to comply.

Matthias Klein
Matthias Klein

Well, if data protection is the driver behind this bill, it certainly is a step into the right direction. Not sure if banning services that dont comply is a wise choice. But handing over personal data on all citizens to a nation which operates the largest "big brother" like surveillance apparatus in the world and has a history of breaking the UN Charta, international law, and human rights is a threat to the national security of any nation.

Al Leo
Al Leo

Not the data, but personal data! You are just f-ing morons - all other assumptions in the article is just a continuous us-delirium. Europeans already challenged the data issue and moving to the similar goal as well. Just work hard to comply.

Sergey Podushkin
Sergey Podushkin

It's my decision where to keep my personal data, not any government whatever reasons they're used.

Jamie Toelle
Jamie Toelle

And Russia doesn't spy on their people... lol

Zach Petersen
Zach Petersen

This is why it's difficult for me to understand how people can claim that this is similar to certain EU laws. Its fundamentally different and coming from a fundamentally different perspective. This has nothing to do with protecting Russian citizens and everything to do with protecting a dangerous government.

Zach Petersen
Zach Petersen

Is Germany no longer participating in the Safe Harbor Framework with the rest of the EU? If it is then data certainly does not have to stay in Germany.

Andrey Pogodin
Andrey Pogodin

That's fine. They'll miss another round of technological revolution and finally vanish from the face of the Earth for good. 

Daniel Poludyonny
Daniel Poludyonny

Russia turns into another North Korea. For instance, they've just passed a bill that forbids lace panties. And besides microprocessors they are thinking about replacing the internet with their own one named after cartoon character Cheburashka. Not to mention bills that forbid non-Russian satellites and non-Russian words, or the recently passed one that punishes people for posting anything anti-government on social media with a $2000 fine or a jail term. And that is just a tip of the iceberg.

Maurice Williams
Maurice Williams

Wait are these the same people who hack into our systems trying to get our data I am sorry but no if they can check us we can check them.

Christine Harris
Christine Harris

Another measure similar to ones in place in Europe to safeguard citizens' data

Michael Coscetta
Michael Coscetta

All personally identifiable information, held on any German citizen, can not leave the country and must reside on servers/data centers physically based in Germany.

Pavel Gusev
Pavel Gusev

do you guys honestly believe this is true? :) seems like you will believe just about anything :) like Ron Burgundy reads ANYTHING from the teleprompter :)

Zach Petersen
Zach Petersen

Yeah, nationally segregated internet. nbd. I think you need to take a peek at some of those laws you are referencing and then do a comparison.

Xacobe Vilas G
Xacobe Vilas G

It's the right thing to do. Europe, Asia and the whole American countries with the exception of USA already stated they will do this. Lots of international Internet meetings have been held the last two years. Where have you been hiding, under a rock? This is what happens when you spy sovereign countries communications.

Andrew Stover
Andrew Stover

The more and more governments imagine they can do this kind of stuff, the more and more irrelevant they'll become. #goodriddance

Rae Alton
Rae Alton

Their demands were impossible to begin with. You can't rebuild global economics around complete assholes... The US doesn't do stuff like that... cough cough.

Leonardo Chandrawansa
Leonardo Chandrawansa

Your point is invalid. I'm a Russian and I would rather have my data been accessible by the Russian Government than the US Government. And anyway, the NSA has already probably gather enough data about me and everyone else in this world.

Michael Coscetta
Michael Coscetta

This is almost identical to the laws currently in place in the UK and in Germany...this really isn't a big deal