Kremlin expresses concerns over ‘Fake News’ bill

Agency News

Moscow, Mar 13 : The Kremlin admits that there might be concerns over the enforcement of the Russia's prospective law on curbing fake news, but hopes that such fears will not be confirmed, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

The Russian upper house is expected to discuss the bill later in the day. The Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights has criticised the legislation and urged the upper house lawmakers to vote down the initiative and send it for revision. The lower chamber has already passed the bill.

"Of course, we can hardly agree with a view that the bill is some kind of censorship... Certainly, there might be some concerns about the enforcement of this bill after it is enacted, but we have repeatedly seen situations when such fears turned out to be groundless," the spokesman was quoted by Sputnik.

Kremlin considers this bill to be very thought-out as the expert community has taken part in the work on this piece of legislation, the official added.

“I would not predict anything here, but the work on this bill has been ongoing for a long time, meaning that it is well thought through,” Peskov told reporters, when asked if there are chances that Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to turn down the bill.

Under the bill, the access to information expressed in an indecent form, which constitutes an affront to human dignity and public morality, demonstrates obvious disrespect for society, the state, the official state symbols of Russia, the country’s constitution or bodies exercising state power in Russia, may be restricted.

If such information is found, the Russian prosecutor general or his deputies should turn to Roskomnadzor, the Russian telecommunications watchdog, requesting removal of this information or limiting access to media outlets that distribute it, in case they fail to delete this piece.

A fine for breaching the bill may reach nearly $6,000 for individuals, $14,000 for public officials and $23,000 for legal entities. (UNI)