Putin’s Latest Law Criminalizes Online Anonymity, Mandates Identity Checks For Platform Use

If you’re tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net. In Russia, recent radical policy changes have shaken the digital world. Following an influx of anti-Western legislative proposals in the wake of its February invasion of Ukraine, the nation seems poised for a revolutionary overhaul of its online services landscape. Russia is introducing restrictions echoing the infamous “Great Firewall” of China. With new regulations aimed at the complete obliteration of online anonymity and privacy, this development marks yet another blow to free speech and open internet. In a move that appears to be a step towards an autocratic internet environment, the Russian government has declared war on online freedom by turning plans to abolish user anonymity into reality. Federal Law No. 406-FZ, sanctioned on July 31 2023 with President Putin’s approval, signals a new era in Russian cyber law and a clear move to punish those championing free speech. We obtained a copy of the law for you here. The law demands proof of user identification before they can use Russian online platforms. Foreign email systems such as Gmail and Apple are set to be banned, paving the way for stringent measures expected to be rolled out by Christmas this year. Providing top-of-the-line customer service will now involve verifying a user’s exact identity through a government-approved method. With VPN users still allowed, despite the draconian measures, information encouraging their use for evasion purposes is now criminalized. Internet hosting services in Russia have also come…Putin’s Latest Law Criminalizes Online Anonymity, Mandates Identity Checks For Platform Use