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Putin signs controversial antiterror law

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law controversial antiterrorism legislation that critics have denounced as unconstitutional.
Putin signs controversial antiterror law

The package of laws and amendments to the law includes provisions stiffening punishment for extremism and terrorism and holding individuals criminally responsible if they fail to report others to the authorities in connection with certain crimes, RFE\RL reports.

It also increases the government’s surveillance capabilities, requiring communication providers to store users’ calls, messages, photographs, and videos for six months.

Liberal opposition activists and rights watchdogs say the legislation constitutes a massive state encroachment on privacy and civil liberties.

In an interview with the Kommersant daily published on July 7, the CEO of the Megafon mobile provider, Sergei Soldatenkov, said the legislation would require the firm to spend four times its annual profit to ensure the data-storage requirement.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had tasked the government with monitoring “how this law is realized” and taking measures if there are “undesirable” consequences.