Some senior members of Russia’s ruling party reportedly submitted a draft law today. Under the draft, Russian regulators would be able to restrict Internet access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The draft is intended to counter censorship of Russian media by some U.S. platforms.
According to the draft, Russian prosecutors, in consultation with the Foreign Ministry, can conclude that restrictions on content on foreign Internet platforms violate the rights of Russians. The corresponding penalties will include fines and partial or total restrictions on access to these infringing platforms in Russia.
The sponsors of the measure say Russian media companies have been complaining since April that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are censoring their accounts.
In response, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call: “The discriminatory behaviour of these services against Russian customers has occurred and must be countered.” But Peskov did not explicitly support such restrictions, saying legal procedures would be used to determine appropriate sanctions.
Of course, the move was also ridiculed by Alexey Navalny, Russia’s opposition leader. “It’s great to get them through as soon as possible, and eventually people across the country will start using VPNs,” Navalny said on Twitter. “