Russian lower house passes bill on on false online data
MOSCOW, July 3 (RAPSI) - The State Duma has passed a bill that requires search engines to delete links to unreliable information sources at the request of a individuals, RIA Novosti reports Friday.
According to the bill, any individual can request that search engines do not return links to information about the individual if the individual believes it unreliable, irrelevant or is being distributed in violation of the law. However, this does not include information about the events related to criminal offenses with a valid statute of limitation, or information about the crimes for which sentences have not been overturned or served.
The bill introduces a procedure for requesting that search engine providers stop posting such hyperlinks and a procedure for considering these requests, as well as the right to sue providers for their refusal to comply.
The bill also says that search engine operators “may not disclose information about receiving these requests.”
By the second reading, the regulation on removing links to unreliable information three years after the referred event was excluded from the bill. The definition of a search engine was changed to exclude website internal searches. It was also specified that search engines must remove links to this unreliable information from the search results for the applicant’s full name. Additionally, the search engines may request ID from the applicant requesting removal of the links. Applications from search engine users are to be processed within ten business days.
The bill will take effect on January 1, 2016.
According to Leonid Levin, Head of the Committee on Information policy, the bill will provide an efficient tool to prevent blackmail and bullying. At the same time, there is no threat to freedom of speech. The bill also eliminates out-of-court removal of information from the website it is published on.
Major Russian Internet companies, including Yandex, Mail.ru Group and Rambler&Co., criticized the bill. According to them, it violates the constitutional right of citizens to search for and access information. They also suggested that the bill did not fix the problem it is supposed to, which is to eliminate the information from the Internet. It also runs contrary to current law.