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Russia's Federation Council Backs Controversial Security Bill

President Dmitry Medvedev, whose signature stands between the bill and its implementation, initiated the legislation.
Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, has backed a bill expanding the powers of Russia's security agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB).

The legislation has already been approved by the lower house of parliament and now only needs the signature of President Dmitry Medvedev, who initiated the bill.

It would allow the FSB to issue official warnings to individuals whose actions are deemed to create the conditions for a "crime against the country's security."

Individuals deemed to have hindered an FSB employee in his work can be fined or held in detention for up to 15 days.

Officially the law is supposed to help the fight against terror and extremism.

Rights activists and members of the opposition have denounced saying it could be used to intimidate government opponents and stifle protests.

compiled from Russian news agency reports