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Russian Lawmakers Pass Bill to Expand Government Control Over Internet, Protests Expected to Ensue

Russians protest against Internet Bill, March 2019

Russian lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill to expand further government control of the internet proclaimed by backers of the bill to be a defensive measure against internet disruptions by hostile nations. "The bill would install equipment to route Russian internet traffic through servers in the country," James Ellingworth reports in AP. "That would increase the power of state agencies to control information and block messaging applications, while users would find it harder to circumvent government restrictions. ... But the move has caused concern in a society that has become used to an open internet. Several thousand people took to Moscow's streets in protest last month." Others worry the internet speeds in Russian will drastically decline from the installation of the equipment and disrupt countries growing tech sector.

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