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Russia's Controversial Law For Bloggers Comes Into Force

A law seen by rights defenders as another move to curb freedom of expression has come into force in Russia as of August 1.

The new law, signed by President Vladimir Putin in May, obliges bloggers with more than 3,000 daily readers to register with the mass media regulator, Roskomnadzor, and conform to the regulations that govern Russia's regular media outlets.

According to the law, bloggers cannot remain anonymous, while social networks must maintain data on their users for six months.

The information must be stored on servers based in Russian territory, so that authorities can gain access.

Hugh Williamson, of New York-based Human Rights Watch, called the law after it was adopted by the Russian parliament in April "another milestone in Russia's relentless crackdown on free expression."

Based on reporting by Interfax, ITAR-TASS and

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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