Russia enacts ‘draconian’ law for bloggers and online media

The BBC reports that a new media law imposing restrictions on social media users has come into force in Russia.

The law means that bloggers with more than 3,000 daily readers must register with the Russian mass media regulator, Roskomnadzor and conform to the regulations that previously only applied to larger media outlets.  These regulations amongst other things forbid publishing false information, hate speech, or obscenities.  However, the law is widely seen as a means for President Putin and the Russian authorities to crack down on their critics.

Critics of the Russian state have increasingly been targeted by the authorities and in March, Moscow blocked the blog of Alexei Navalny a leading anti corruption campaigner and critic of Pesident Putin, along with two news sites and a organisation run by Garry Kasparov – another vocal critic of the Russian government.