Nationalists push for banning social networks at Russian state agencies

© Dado Ruvic
The Liberal Democratic party has prepared a bill in the State Duma that would ban all Russian civil servants from using social networks at their workplace computers or other devices. The author of the project says his main concern is national security.

MP Vadim Dengin, deputy chairman of the Lower House Committee for Information Policy, said in comments to the popular Russian daily Izvestia that the draft bill was already in the works and could be submitted at the next fall session.

It is important to understand that most social networks and their software clients were created by foreign developers and therefore they can be used against Russia on the software level,” Dengin told reporters. He added that the possibility of using the hidden capabilities of foreign software against the Russian Federation was a real risk given the current information war taking place.

READ MORE: Russians should only have access to 'filtered' internet - lawmaker

The lawmaker also noted that access to social networks from workplace computers simply wasted time, and it would be a good thing if this didn’t happen at state-funded agencies and companies.

However, an exception must be made for cases where communication between state officials and ordinary citizens through social networks is part of the former’s job, the lawmaker said, adding that the new bill would include a mechanism to allow this.

Another member of the State Duma Committee for Information Policy, MP Aleksey Kazakov (Fair Russia), supported the idea and said civil servants should not complain and bear in mind that work for the state implied certain responsibilities.

Vadim Dengin was among the key sponsors of a law that orders all internet companies to store personal data collected from Russian citizens in Russia. The law was passed in early July this year and comes into force on September 1. Websites that don’t comply will find themselves blacklisted by Roscomnadzor, which will then have the right to limit their access.

READ MORE: Nationalists move to secure personal data of Russian internet users