Oh, Vlad. Just when the rest of the world is getting really good at pretending we want to value human rights and raise awareness, you have to go and sign into law an anti-"terrorism" bill so rights-infringey, even some of the pro-Kremlin crowd thinks it goes too far…
|Big Comrade is watching you...|
(Image courtesy thetimes.co.uk.)
The new Russian law, which theantimedia.com reported Edward Snowden openly decrying as the “Big Brother Law”, gives a pervasive proliferation of powers to the Putin reign. The legislation, as summarized by the BBC, includes the following edicts:
"1) telecoms companies must keep copies of customers’ phone calls and text messages for six months;
2) phone and text records (but not the messages themselves) must be kept for three years;
3) online services (such as social networks) must keep message records for one year;
4) online services that encrypt data must help security services decrypt any message sent by users, or face a fine;
5) failing to report knowledge of a crime will become a criminal offence – punishable by up to a year in prison;
6) inciting or expressing approval of terrorism online will be regarded as publishing such comments in mass media – punishable by up to seven years in prison; and
7) children aged over 14 can be held criminally liable for 10 new charges such as taking part in terrorism."
If that doesn’t sound ominous enough, the law also demands criminal liability for keeping silent regarding knowledge of any crime that someone “has been planning, is perpetrating, or has perpetrated.”
|Careful, Vlad, your KGB roots are showing.|
Oh wait...you're proud of that.
(Image courtesy truthrevolt.org.)
And don’t think the persecution stops at freedom of phones and online data. New restrictions have been proposed against missionary work, relegating such good deeds to be carried out exclusively at approved locations, and only by officially-sanctioned organizations.
The law is different from the Western model, if not in spirit then in letter, regarding how the data is collected. Advocates of the bill argue that the blanket collection of data would make it less targeted than American law, which requires warrants to specifically seek out data for prosecution (although come on, we all know they’re hanging on to all of it anyway.)
|After passing the law, Putin emailed this image|
to the White House, bearing the caption,
"Suck it, Obama. My surveillance state's bigger than yours."
(Image courtesy balkanist.org.)
(Image courtesy putin-being-badass.tumblr.com.)
Russian companies, particularly those requiring updated data storage, have already opposed the bill due to its economic (if not humane) stressors, and many have written to Russia’s upper house of Parliament declaring the laws “technically and economically unfeasible.” The Russian VPN service Private Internet Access claims it will leave the market due to the new laws, as the new storage necessities alone could bankrupt even a major provider.
But hey, Putin’s approval rating is still apparently somewhere around 80%...and if you think it should be otherwise, best not to talk about it on the phone…or internet…or around anyone who uses those things…
|"No, seriously, please speak out against the state...|
...these guys are getting the munchies."
(Image courtesy funnyordie.com.)