Russia has drawn up a bill aimed at preventing leaks of personal information from state agencies, a move that follows publication of details of Russians allegedly involved in covert intelligence operations abroad.
The draft legislation, generated by Russia's Communications Ministry, forbids the creation and publishing of databases of personal data drawn from official sources by unauthorized persons.
The bill, which provides for fines for anyone violating its provisions, was published late on November 22. It says it was put together in response to an order from President Vladimir Putin last year and makes no mention of the recent leaks.
The measure also requires that state agencies setting up systems for handling personal data consult with the Federal Security Service, Russia's main domestic intelligence agency.
The legislation, consisting of two draft laws and a draft government resolution, will be submitted to parliament and the government for approval after a 30-day period of public consultation.
Moscow has been left red-faced by leaks about two men Britain alleges were Russian intelligence operatives who used a nerve toxin to poison former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Russia denies involvement.
Although publishing personal data is already illegal under existing legislation, Russia has a flourishing black market in illegal databases containing confidential information stolen from state-run records, many openly available on the Internet.
It includes passport details, addresses, car registrations, flight manifests, and even tax returns.