JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Fake news’ in Russia: State censorship elicits an outcry” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

“In any society, how big a problem is ‘fake news,’ and what should be done about it, and by whom? In Russia, the protests over new state censorship moves signed by Putin invoke universal principles.”

“…. a package of new laws, signed … by … Putin, is stirring an outcry in Russia over allowing anyone in authority to decide what constitutes fake news and to determine what to do about it. … the Russian State Duma … blanket fake news law … imposes huge fines for publishing any ‘untrue’ report that creates a threat to life, health, public order, security, infrastructure, and almost any public institution. … [A] second law enabl[es] officials to shut down any content containing ‘information expressed in an indecent form which insults human dignity and public morality and shows obvious disrespect for society, the state, and official symbols of Russia, the Russian Constitution, or other agencies that administer government power in Russia.’ * * * The new Russian laws supplement previous ones … allow[ing] … government communications watchdog Roskomnadzor to blacklist obscene or extremist websites … [and] legislation … [attempting] to force big internet companies to keep … Russian data on Russia-based servers in the name of ‘digital sovereignty.’ That led to the banning of LinkedIn in Russia, after it refused to comply … the Russian government has so far declined to go after other big companies like Facebook, Twitter, or Google, presumably out of fear of a public backlash. …”

JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Fake news’ in Russia: State censorship elicits an outcry” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir