Vladimir Putin signs law obliging foreign owners of Internet resources to open branches or representative offices in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law obliging large foreign IT companies to open branches or representative offices in Russia, the document was published on Thursday on a government legal information site, TASS reports.

The owners of Internet resources, the daily audience of which exceeds 500,000 Russian users, will have to create branches, open representative offices or establish legal entities in Russia, starting on January 1st, 2022. According to the document, the branches need to "fully represent the interests of the parent companies." "A set of measures is also introduced to force IT companies to comply with Russian legislation, including, as a last resort, the possibility of partial or complete blocking of the offending resource.

A set of measures is also being introduced to force IT companies to comply with Russian legislation. Among them, informing users of Internet resources about violations of the legislation of the Russian Federation, bans on the distribution of advertising on an information resource, on making payments to it, on search results, on the collection and cross-border transfer of personal data of Russian citizens. As a last resort, the possibility of partial or complete blocking of the offending resource is provided.

The preliminary list of Internet resources, the owners of which may be obliged to open branches or representative offices in Russia, includes 20 platforms. It includes social networks (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter), video hosting (YouTube, Twitch.tv), instant messengers (WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber), mail service (Gmail), search engines (Google, Bing.com), hosting providers (Amazon, Digital Ocean, Cloudflare, GoDaddy), online stores (Aliexpress.com, Ikea.com, Iherb.com), and Wikipedia.org. At the same time, this list can be adjusted.

The corresponding legislative initiative was submitted to the State Duma on May 21st by a group of deputies from the Duma Committee on Information Policy and Senator Alexei Pushkov. The document was supported by the Russian government, the Bank of Russia and the Federal Antimonopoly Service.

Image: www.kremlin.ru

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