Russian fake news laws

federal laws of Russia

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The Russian fake news laws are a group[1][2] of federal laws prohibiting the dissemination of information considered "unreliable" by Russian authorities, establishing the punishment for such dissemination, and allowing the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media to extrajudicially block access to online media publishing such information. The most well-known of these laws is the Federal Law of 4 March 2022 №32-FZ enacted during the Russian invasion of Ukraine; the adoption of this law caused the mass exodus of foreign media from Russia and termination of activity of independent Russian media.[3][4][5]

2019 Fake News Law

On 18 March 2019, Vladimir Putin signed the law №31-FZ allowing the Roskomnadzor to block the access to any online media in case of revealing a "unreliable information".[6] On the same day, Putin signed the law №27-FZ establishing the administrative fines for natural persons and juridical persons for publication of "unreliable information".[7][8]

2019 Disrespect to Authorities Law

On 18 March 2019, Vladimir Putin signed the law №28-FZ that punishes "'blatant disrespect' online for the state, the authorities, the public, the Russian flag or the constitution" by a fine or by imprisonment for up to 15 days in the case of repeat offences, and the law №30-FZ also allows the Roskomnadzor to request the removal of such "disrespectful statements".[9][10][11]

2020 COVID-19 Fake News Law

On 1 April 2020, Vladimir Putin signed the laws №99-FZ and №100-FZ establishing the administrative and criminal punishment for a dissemination of unreliable information about circumstances that threat to life and health of a citizens including epidemic, natural and technological disasters, emergency, and measures to ensure the security.[12][13][14] These laws were aimed to make illegal any doubts as to the nature of COVID-19 and the reasonableness of the measures to combat the epidemic.

2022 Laws Establishing War Censorship and Prohibiting Anti-War Statements and Calls for Sanctions

On 4 March 2022, on the background of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin signed the laws №31-FZ and №32-FZ.[15][16]

The bill amended the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which was supplemented by the article 207.3 "Public dissemination of knowingly false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation." It introduced criminal liability for the dissemination of knowingly false information about the actions of the Russian Armed Forces, the maximum punishment under the article was 15 years in prison.[17][5]

The Chapter 29 of the Criminal Code of Russia was also supplemented by the articles 280.3 and 284.2. According to the article 280.3, the "discrediting" of Russian Armed Forces and its operations, including the calls for prevention of the use of Russian Armed Forces for interests of Russian Federation is punishable by imprisonment for a term of 5 years. The article 284.2 established responsibility for calls by a Russian citizen to impose sanctions against Russia, Russian citizens or Russian legal entities; such calls are punishable with imprisonment for a term of 3 years. The same actions were included into new articles 20.3.3 and 20.3.4 of the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses. The first call against the use of Russian Armed Forces or the call for sanctions on Russia is punishable with a heavy fine according to the Code on Administrative Offenses, the second call is punishable with imprisonment according to the Criminal Code.[18]

Effect on media

Many Russian media were forced to stop covering Russian invasion of Ukraine because of this bill, including Colta.ru, "Snob" online magazine, Znak.com, "The Bell" online magazine, Novaya Gazeta.[19][20][21] Dozhd said it was temporarily suspending operations due to the enactment of aforementioned law.[22] Radio Liberty announced that it would stop working in Russia due to the new law on fakes, but would continue to cover events in Ukraine while abroad.[23] Also on the territory of the Russian Federation, Bloomberg News, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, BBC News, RTVE, EFE, RAI, TG5, ANSA stopped working.[24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32]

Similar Belarusian law

On 14 December 2021, Alexander Lukashenko signed the law №133-Z which amended the article 361 of the Criminal Code of Belarus. These amendments criminalized the calls for sanctions against Belarus, Belarusian legal and natural persons and established the penalty of imprisonment for a term up to 6 years for such calls. The calls adressing foreign countries and the dissemination of such calls are punishable by imprisonment for a term of 3 to 10 years. The same calls committed with the use of media or Internet are punishable for a term of 4 to 12 years. This bill had been adopted in Belarus against the background of the ongoing political crisis in the country.[33][34]

See also

References

  1. ^ Samorodova, Elina (2020). "Особенности современного регулирования фейковых новостей: российский и зарубежный опыт". Mediascope (in Russian). Moscow (3). doi:10.30547/mediascope.3.2020.4. ISSN 2074-8051. S2CID 242888902.
  2. ^ "Fake-news и пандемия: как законодательство борется с дезинформацией" (in Russian). Pravo.ru. 26 June 2020.
  3. ^ Galayda, Ekaterina. "Срок за невнимательность: Чем опасен для СМИ новый закон о фейках". Национальная Служба Новостей - НСН (in Russian). Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  4. ^ "Держдума ухвалила закон 'про фейки': в РФ саджатимуть за правду про війну". Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  5. ^ a b "Analysis | In Putin's Russia, 'fake news' now means real news". The Washington Post. 11 March 2022. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 2022-03-15. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  6. ^ "О внесении изменений в статью 153 Федерального закона "Об информации, информационных технологиях и о защите информации"". Federal Law No. 31-FZ of 18 March 2019 (in Russian). State Duma.
  7. ^ "О внесении изменений в Кодекс Российской Федерации об административных правонарушениях". Federal Law No. 27-FZ of 18 March 2019 (in Russian). State Duma.
  8. ^ "Владимир Путин подписал закон о фейковых новостях" (in Russian). Pravo.ru. 18 March 2019.
  9. ^ "О внесении изменений в Кодекс Российской Федерации об административных правонарушениях". Federal Law No. 28-FZ of 18 March 2019 (in Russian). State Duma.
  10. ^ "О внесении изменения в Федеральный закон "Об информации, информационных технологиях и о защите информации"". Federal Law No. 30-FZ of 18 March 2019 (in Russian). State Duma.
  11. ^ "Russia's Putin signs law banning fake news, insulting the state online". Thomson Reuters. 18 March 2019. Archived from the original on 2022-03-14. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  12. ^ "О внесении изменений в Кодекс Российской Федерации об административных правонарушениях". Federal Law No. 99-FZ of 1 April 2020 (in Russian). State Duma.
  13. ^ "О внесении изменений в Уголовный кодекс Российской Федерации и статьи 31 и 151 Уголовно-процессуального кодекса Российской Федерации". Federal Law No. 100-FZ of 1 April 2020 (in Russian). State Duma.
  14. ^ "Путин утвердил штрафы за нарушение карантина и фейки о коронавирусе" (in Russian). RBK. 1 April 2020.
  15. ^ "О внесении изменений в Кодекс Российской Федерации об административных правонарушениях". Federal Law No. 31-FZ of 4 March 2022 (in Russian). State Duma.
  16. ^ "О внесении изменений в Уголовный кодекс Российской Федерации и статьи 31 и 151 Уголовно-процессуального кодекса Российской Федерации". Federal Law No. 32-FZ of 4 March 2022 (in Russian). State Duma.
  17. ^ "Russia's parliament approves jail for 'fake' war reports". Al Jazeera. 4 March 2022. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  18. ^ "Россиян будут наказывать за призывы к санкциям и антивоенные лозунги". Vedomosti (in Russian). 3 March 2022. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  19. ^ "Znak.com объявил о приостановке работы". Meduza (in Russian). 4 March 2022.
  20. ^ ""Риски для журналистов перешли на новый уровень». The Bell не будет писать о военных действиях в Украине из-за нового закона о «фейках"". Meduza (in Russian). 5 March 2022.
  21. ^ Kondratyev, Nikita (5 March 2022). "Служба информации «Новой газеты» останавливает работу. Мы вернемся. Скоро. Заявление". Novaya Gazeta (in Russian).
  22. ^ "Liberal Russian TV Dozhd Suspending Operations Over Ukraine Ban". The Moscow Times. 3 March 2022. Archived from the original on 5 March 2022. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  23. ^ "Бюро Радио Свобода в России прекращает свою работу". Radio Liberty (in Russian). 6 March 2022.
  24. ^ Korolyeva, Natalia (5 March 2022). "CNN, BBC, CBS, ABC и Bloomberg прекращают работу в России". Deutsche Welle (in Russian).
  25. ^ "Bloomberg to Temporarily Halt Work of Its Journalists in Russia". Bloomberg News. 4 March 2022.
  26. ^ "CNN, BBC, and others suspend broadcasting from Russia after Putin signs law limiting press". CNN. 5 March 2022.
  27. ^ "War in Ukraine: BBC suspends its journalists' work in Russia". BBC News. 5 March 2022.
  28. ^ "RTVE deja de informar temporalmente desde Rusia". RTVE (in Spanish). 5 March 2022.
  29. ^ "La Agencia Efe suspende temporalmente su actividad informativa desde Rusia". EFE (in Spanish). 5 March 2022.
  30. ^ "BBC suspendiert Berichterstattung aus Russland". Der Spiegel (in German). 4 March 2022.
  31. ^ "Russie : de nombreux médias internationaux suspendent leur activité". Le Monde (in French). 5 March 2022.
  32. ^ "La Rai sospende i servizi giornalistici dalla Russia. Stessa decisione per Tg5 e Ansa". la Repubblica (in Italian). 5 March 2022.
  33. ^ "Лукашенко ввел уголовную ответственность за призывы к санкциям против Минска". Rossiyskaya Gazeta (in Russian). 14 December 2021. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  34. ^ "Лукашэнка ўвёў крымінальную адказнасць за заклікі да санкцыяў". Belsat TV (in Belarusian). 14 December 2021.
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