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"Еdinaya Russia" Will Undertake Next Attempt to Restrict Freedom of Speech in Internet

"Еdinaya Russia" Will Undertake Next Attempt to Restrict Freedom of Speech in Internet

On a background of real gone information campaign during events in South Ossetia followers of "Edinaya Russia" amicably decided: it's impossible to delay regulation of Internet. Example of China rigidly regulating Internet-space excites and thrills. The chapter of the working group, vice-speaker Oleg Morozov (once former journalist) informed about creation of the bill regulating the Russian sector of Internet. He gave the terms - the end of September. The secretary of the Union of journalists of Russia Michael Fedotov, being by the time the author of one of the working editions of the law on mass-media and participating in the work of the commission as an expert, confirmed determination of deputies to develop mechanisms of legislative regulation in the Internet.

"To regulate distribution of mass information in Internet is necessary. But to reach level of preventive maintenance in this question is necessary to adhere the Russian jurisdiction to Internet. It's the most serious problem and to say unequivocally, what law should be accepted in this or that case it impossible. The task is a complex one, but not unsolvable", - Fedotov expressed hope in the interview to "Independent Newspaper".

"It is possible to enter important and loud restrictions - that is what deputies insist on, but they will not work because validity of the Russian laws are limited to national territory, while Internet is transboundary", - Fedotov explained. The way out, in his opinion, is that in creation of the national legislation regulating virtual space it's necessary to be guided by the international conventions in the field of Internet.

By the end of September the working group plans to present for consideration of the Duma fraction "Edinaya Russia" the concept where key parameters of the future bill will be stated. This fraction initiated creation of the corresponding commission that spring in a heat of discussion by parliament of the bill on necessity to punish mass-media for distribution of false information suggested by the youngest deputy of the Duma, former press-secretary of the movement "Nashi" Robert Shlegel.

"We shall offer parliament the concept of development of legislation in the sphere of information relations including in the field of Internet, then the working group will work over the concrete bills", - Fedotov assured.

From editorial staff: It looks like "Edinaya Russia" is seriously anxious with freedom of speech in Internet, in the meaning that it's anxious to limit it seriously. It south that for the last ten years there were a lot of bills on regulation of Internet developed but none of them became law. However this time, obviously, they are serious - both Morozov and Fedotov have serious enough representation what mass-media is, how they function and what actually the subject of regulation is. It's not Slutsker, Narusova or young Shlegel.

To tell you the truth, competence in this question is not always positive factor if to look from the point of view of social and moral consequences. Slutser with Narusova made not the bill but a joke and that's all. While Morozov with Fedotov are capable to make the document which will have much more serious negative consequences.

Let's not forget that the law on mass-media composed by Fedotov in due time "corrected" Poltoranin's edition of the law according to which editorial and journalistic collectives appeared proprietors of almost all mass-media in Russia. While Fedotov's law paved the way to what happened within 1994-95. Everything that is connected to freedom of speech was possible to achieve as a result of development of the basic ideas of law of the USSR "About Press and Other Mass Media" from June, 12, 1990 and the Russian law "About Mass Media" from December, 27, 1991. The first law liquidated censorship, destroyed party-state monopolies on mass-media, gave newspapers and magazines to the hands of their journalistic collectives. The second - guaranteed rights and duties of journalists, created mechanism of maintenance of editorial independence.

However after October revolution of 1993 the situation changed, freedom of speech ceased to be a priority for the state and liberals dug a trap for liberal freedom having admitted market relations up to mass-media. Here you are what Igor Jakovenko respected by me wrote being vice-president of parliamentary committee of the State Duma on information policy, he initiated preparation of the project of radical reform of Law on mass-media. In the explanatory note "Whether It's Time to Touch "Sacred Cow?" he asserted: "The current Law of the Russian Federation "About Mass Media" badly fits market relations, a number of its clauses appeared in the contradiction with clauses of the new Civil Code. So, for example, absence in the law of the concept "proprietor of mass media" leads to numerous deadlock disputed situations. Real relations of the property on mass media between the founder, editorial staff and the publisher are practically not adjusted".

So, real relations of the property came to mass-media, the proprietor of mass media successfully was born and so, the journalist and journalistic collective as independent phenomenon in the world of mass-media disappeared practically completely having turned simply into hired paper-stainer who could be either forced to do what the proprietor needed, or simply left without work.

Actually, the doctor of jurisprudence M.Fedotov was the author of that very remarkable new law. Now it will be he who will liquidate the outlet - Internet - journalism - formed due to technical progress - one shouldn't muddy the water, the task is as such: to take Internet - journalism to the standards of off-line journalism of Putin's epoch. And I'm very afraid that former dear provincial journalist, now turned into the vice-speaker of "Party of Bears" Mr. Morozov in the head of his rather competent group can prepare the document which consequences for Internet - media would become the same way destructive, as Fedotov's Law about mass-media for newspapers, magazines and TV.

It is possible to be confident that working group ER will meaningly bypass the contradiction between mass-media and Internet-media which, in essence, today are not controlled by the law on mass-media as by the very definition given by this law they do not fit to its regulation. Fedotov's law - is purely market one, it regulates market relations in the sphere of media. While Internet - media basically are not the subject of the market, roughly speaking, it sells nothing and does not render paid services - it's not from this legislative field.

Naturally, "party in power" is very much anxious with non-controlled distribution of information - it doesn't worry that "monitoring" is a direct infringement of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, it's in general not guided by the organic law. Totalitarian authority simply couldn't understand that in "its" state something can not be supervised by it.

However, society risks to lose the last mechanism of free information and opinion interchange. And, most likely, even so-called Duma "opposition" will not act against the given bill - basically due to stupidity and incompetence, not due to rage. But it's not better.

The society thanks, by the way, to the current Law About Mass-Media practically does not have even mechanism of influence on authority. Short of Internet - media which are today the object of encroachment.

Аnatoly Baranov, chairman of the Committee on Freedom of Speech and Mass-Media of the National Assembly

PS. On Monday in the premises of the Institute of Problems on Globalization at 12.00 a.m. there will be a session of the Committee on Freedom of Speech and Mass-Media. Address: Моscow, Lyalin Side Street, 22 (м. "Kurskaya", "Chkalovskay", "Кitaj-Gorod")

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