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Russian Parliament Adopts Controversial Privacy Law

Lawmakers in the lower house of Russia's parliament have voted for a bill that critics say could be used to block information critical of the government or government officials.

The State Duma voted overwhelmingly on July 3 in a third and final reading for the legislation forcing online search engines like Google to remove search results about a specific person at that person's request.

Under the bill, a person can request that search engines remove the search results of their name if the information about them is "no longer relevant" without specifying which links they want removed.

Defending the legislation, lawmaker Leonid Levin said the law "will create an efficient tool for clamping down on blackmail and Internet bullying."

Yandex, a leading Russian search engine, has said the bill “impedes people's access to important and reliable information, or makes it impossible to obtain such information.”

Based on reporting by AP and TASS

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