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Russian Ministry of Communication has assessed draft law on news aggregators

Russian Ministry of Communication (MinCom) provided Russian State Duma with its negative assessment of draft law on news aggregators. According to this assessment, restriction of news aggregators will decrease auditory of online mass media at least on one fourth. Requirements containing in draft law are impracticable and will cause expenditures from state budget. Draft law in its current version “can cause significant restriction of Russian news aggregators’ activity and in some cases even their shut-down”, believes Alexey Volin, deputy of Russian minister of communication.

News aggregators generate for online mass media most part of traffic and if news aggregators will be shut-down then incomes of internet mass media will decrease with decreasing of its auditory. News aggregators do work with information already published in mass media and publication and dissemination of such information is already regulated by mass media law. Besides, news aggregators don’t have opportunity to verify all information due to absence of editorial office. Requirements to pre-moderate many news materials by news aggregators are technically impracticable.

“Actually it is like to require news stall to verify content in newspapers and magazines they sell, or require mobile operators to keep an eye on subscribes for the purposes whether they use a foul language when they talking by phone,” – state in MinCom’s assessment. Besides, control over implementation of law will enlarge Roskomnadzor’s burden and cause additional expenditures from state budget. Under draft law Roskomnadzor is responsible for registry of news aggregators. “In current hard economic circumstances it would be better to focus lawmakers’ endeavours on propositions reducing controlling functions and stimulating activity of real producers. Therefore we assume that such legal initiatives must be reviewed by experts prior to involve any representative of authority.” – stated in MinCom’s assessment.

Not only MinCom gave negative assessment to this draft law. Some Russian companies also dislike this idea to make their work more intensive in Russia.