June 27, 2016

"Russia’s parliament has passed harsh anti-terrorism measures that human rights campaigners including the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden say will roll back personal freedoms and privacy."

guardian: The lower house of parliament voted 325 to 1 on Friday to adopt the “Yarovaya law”, a package of amendments authored by the ruling United Russia party member Irina Yarovaya, who is known for previous legislative crackdowns on protesters and non-governmental organisations. by Alec Luhn

'Snowden, who has lived in Russia since receiving asylum in 2013, tweeted on Saturday that the “Big Brother law” was an “unworkable, unjustifiable violation of rights” that would “take money and liberty from every Russian without improving safety”.

'The legislation makes it a crime to not warn the authorities of “reliable” information about planned terrorist attacks, armed uprisings, hijacking and several other crimes. Expressing approval of terrorism on the internet will now be punishable with up to seven years in prison.

'The legislation obliges telephone and internet providers to store records of all communications for six months and all metadata for three years, as well as help intelligence agencies decode encrypted messaging services. Telecoms firms have complained that users rather than providers typically possess the encryption keys, and that storing this huge amount of information would require expensive new infrastructure.

'It also appears to take aim at Kremlin opponents and protesters. The maximum punishment for extremism, a charge that has been increasingly brought against social media users critical of Russia’s involvement in Ukraine, will be increased from four to eight years in prison. Encouraging people to take part in “mass disturbances” will become a crime punishable by five to 10 years in prison. Another amendment restricts missionary work to specially designated areas, drawing criticism from Muslim, Jewish and Russian Orthodox organisations.'

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