Donald Trump Current Affairs - 2019

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Russia President Putin signs “Sovereign Internet” law

Russian President Vladimir Putin on 2 May 2019  signed into law a “sovereign internet” bill which will allow Russian authorities to isolate the country’s internet. The move expands Government Control of Internet, is being publicly denounced by all rights groups in country.

Key Highlights

  • The text of the law was published on 1 May 2019 but it will not come into effect until November.
  • Russian lawmakers support the new law as deeming it necessary to ensure security of Russia’s online networks.
  • It includes measures such as to create technology to monitor internet routing, to steer Russian internet traffic away from foreign servers, allegedly to prevent a foreign country from shutting it down.
  • In March 2019, Putin signed another controversial law which allowed courts to fine and briefly jail people who showed disrespect towards authorities, and also block media for publishing “fake news”.
  • These laws are part of an ongoing Kremlin clampdown on media and internet freedoms in which people are jailed even for sharing humorous memes.
  • The move would also target largely Telegram (a popular messaging app) widely used by Russians.

Criticism

  • It is being criticized as a vaguely worded bill which gives new censorship powers to government monitors and is aimed at restricting information and communication online.
  • It will allow greater surveillance by Russian intelligence agencies, and increase ability of state authorities to control information.

Reason

The government defended the legislation as a defensive move in case the United States would cut Russia off from the global Internet. Also, Russia must ensure its networks security after US President Donald Trump unveiled a new American cybersecurity strategy in 2018 which accused Russia of carrying out cyber-attacks with impunity.

Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) not to be ratified by US

US President Donald Trump announced that USA will not abide by and will never ratify Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a UN treaty aimed at regulating global arms trade.

Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

With aim of regulating international trade in conventional arms (from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships), it was entered into force in 2014. It establishes common standards for international trade of conventional weapons so as to reduce illegal arms trade.

The member nations are required to keep records of international trade of weapons and prohibit cross-border shipments that can be used for human rights violations or attacks on civilians. It was originally signed by 130 countries but currently only 101 have ratified and joined it. India is not a signatory.

Arguments by US

ATT is misguided and is encroachment on US sovereignty. It does not place any restrictions on types or quantities of arms bought, sold, or possessed by states. It also does not impact state’s domestic gun control laws or other firearm ownership policies.