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Author of posted comment should be personally responsible for it in Russia

If you have a web-site and post interesting things, information or other content and allow your readers to comment it then you should not be liable if the users will infringe applicable law in Russia by way of posting comment on your web-site. It is proposed to make the readers of internet mass media liable for their comments.

Institute on Internet development has draft “road map” including such proposition. This proposition intends to make possible any comment only under condition of authentication by means of state single system of identification and authentication (SSIA, ESIA in Russian). Chairman of this institute is German Klimenko. Institute intends to propose it to Russian president. It would be perfect for “authors” of this initiative if advisory council under committee on information policy of Russian state duma discuss it after May holidays with participation of Russian ministry of communication (MinCom) Russian Roskomnadzor, representatives of media-communication union, mass media.

If user is identified he is liable under Russian current and applicable law for any comment posted in mass media. Currently SSIA has 26 million registered users. Most of them are identified by Russian passport. It means that user, in order to post any comment, must identify himself by means of passport and then he is able to comment. In this case internet mass media is not liable for comment posted by identified user. But the mass media would not be obliged to introduce identification for users for purposes of commenting. Some experts believe it would protect interests of Russian journalists; it can reduce their unreasonable criticism.

Actually intention is to make verification by means of passport widespread in Russia. If natural person uses his passport everywhere in Russia and can show it to anyone, it is not dangerously to make it in internet. It is right and necessary, believe some experts. Does it means that only Russian citizens will have opportunity to comment any news, posts or information published in internet mass media in Russia? What about other Russian citizens residing abroad? What about people from other countries. Will they have opportunity to post comment without identification? In other words, have the experts from Russian institute on internet development considered and taken into account exterritorial nature of initiative for its implementation?