Moscow Helsinki Group criticizes bill on bloggers

The decision of the Russian Federation Council to approve the bill on bloggers is disappointing, Head of Russia's oldest human rights organization Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva said.

The decision of the Russian Federation Council to approve the bill on bloggers is disappointing, Head of Russia's oldest human rights organization Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva said.

"People have found an escape - the Internet, where they can talk with each other without the state's interference. But the state is right there," Alexeyeva told Interfax on Tuesday.

"I think that the bill on bloggers is an attempt to set controls over the Internet as a means of citizens communicating with each other and control over thoughts and feelings we want to exchange," Alexeyeva, who has a LiveJournal blog, said.

"I am a compromiser by nature and not a fighter at all but I have become a dissident namely because during the Soviet times the state interfered in [citizens'] private life shamelessly, where it has no business - you are reading a wrong thing, you are friends with the wrong person, you are saying the wrong thing," she said.

The bill on bloggers has many violations and could become a source of outrage for the state authorities, the Russian presidential human rights council said on April 29.

The Federation Council approved on Tuesday the bill from the so-called counter-terrorism set, which refers to bloggers as mass media outlets. The draft law obliges private individuals and legal entities to inform the Federal Service for Supervision in Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) on the start of information broadcasts on the Internet. The individual, who has at least 3,000 visits per day to his personal website or page on social networks, is listed in a special registry and could take money for placing advertisements.

The Federation Council will create a working group, which will develop measures to improve the passed bill. The draft law will be worked on so that "no dubious versions emerge," head of the constitutional legislation committee Andrei Klishas said.

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