Russia legislates digital rights and fake news

The country may be accused of promoting fake news, but lawmakers are rolling out legislation on fake news and digital rights.


Russian lawmakers have established ‘digital rights’ in domestic law as the basis for the digital economy, and have also introduced a package of bills to tackle fake news.

Digital rights

Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, has voted to enact new digital rights legislation in October this year, after passing a third and final Duma reading. The law reportedly establishes the concept of ‘digital rights’ in Russian legislation, with the addition of a new article 141.1 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. The law determines how digital rights can be exercised and transferred, as well establishes rules for digital transactions, including contracts. Chairman of the state Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin stated that the digital rights law ‘forms the basis for the development of the digital economy. This is a new area for our rights, thus it is important for us to consolidate the basic concepts.’ Earlier this month, the Duma passed a cryptocurrency bill, due for adoption by the end of March.

Fake news

Russia’s Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, has 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 package covers circulation of unreliable socially important information threatening life or health of people, posing risks of civil disorder or to security. It also covers false reports resulting in threats to the functioning of vital infrastructure, transportation or social infrastructure, credit organizations, energy, industry or communications facilities. The Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor will deal with network media outlets under a special procedure, and can order them to delete certain information or block the outlet if it fails to comply within the prescribed time limit.

Email your news and story ideas to: [email protected]