This week, Russian lawmakers advanced a package of ne

  legislation aimed at curtailing internet freedom. Among the laws awaiting the president’s eventual signa

ture is a measure that would allow authorities to jail individuals for insulting government officials online.

  Russia is not China, and the country still has a relatively boisterou

s online culture. But the proposed laws would widen the definition of restricted speech, calling for

penalties of up to 15 days in administrative detention for those found guilty of posting information that shows “disr

espect for society, the state, (and) state symbols of the Russian Federation,” — including, presumably, Putin himself.

  This latest move to curtail internet freedom in Russia builds o

n fairly sweeping laws that are already on the books. In 2016, a raft of anti-terrorism legi

slation known collectively as the Yarovaya Law introduced harsh penalties for endorsing extremism online.

  According to Human Rights Watch and other advocacy grou

ps, dozens of Russians have been jailed for simply expressing their views on blogs and social

media. And Putin this week signed into law a bill that restricts the digital footprint of military service personnel.

qhfde.com

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