Cyber Laws Current Affairs - 2019

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Russian President Vladimir Putin gives assent to Big Brother law

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given his assent to the legislation consisting of a package of controversial anti-terror amendments.

The legislation is dubbed as Big Brother law was adopted by the lower and upper houses of Russian parliament in June 2016.

The nick-name Big Brother law was coined by Edward Snowden, US intelligence contractor turned privacy activist. He has condemned the law despite being given asylum in Russia.

Key provisions of law

  • Boosts the surveillance powers for the security services and grants them access to any user’s messages without any judicial oversight.
  • Mandatory for communication (network) service providers to store users’ calls, messages, photographs and videos for six months and the metadata for up to three years.
  • Federal Security Service (FSB) should be provided with the stored data. Companies and service providers must provide it necessary encryption mechanisms to access files.
  • Tougher sentences for extremism and criminalises several offences. For certain crimes the age of criminal responsibility reduced to 14.