News websites in Russia that collect, display and link to related content may be blocked for not fulfilling the requirements regarding restriction of foreign ownership.
“Sanctions for failure to comply with the requirements will include restricted access of the Russian service providers to the news aggregator until the owner of the aggregator fulfils the requirements,” said an explanatory note published in the State Duma’s electronic database.
At the request of the authorized federal authority of the executive branch, the court will determine the grounds for restricting access in accordance with the law. The co-author of the initiative, a member of the Committee of the State Duma on information policy, information technologies and communications stated that Russian-speaking news aggregators Google and Yandex are subject to the bill, TASS reports.
“Of course, it is Yandex and Google that have news services. These companies’ foreign ownership is over 20%,” he said. He also underlined the need to differentiate between a web search engine and a news aggregator. “Here, we are talking about news aggregators,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, a draft law was introduced in the State Duma that restricts foreign ownership of news aggregators to a 20%. The initiative is aimed at “restricting participation in the activities of the owner of the news aggregator by foreign states, by international organizations controlled, by foreign legal entities, by Russian entities whose foreign ownership is over 20%, by foreign individuals, by stateless persons or by Russian citizens with the nationality of another state.”
Foreign countries, international organizations and organizations under their control, and foreign legal persons that have citizenship of another state cannot act as owners of an aggregator.