THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT HAS EMBRACED the sort of communications and internet data law privacy rules that shock most people but probably make other governments say: 'Damn, that's a fine set of rules.'
The rules place an iron grip on communications, data, details and documents, and provide the Putin posse with very strong powers of persuasion. The take from outside the Russian government is that it is too strong, goes too far, and might actually be illegal.
‘T'chah,' says Putin in our imagination. ‘This is all necessary.' Others will disagree, but it is possible that he will neither hear them nor make any attempt to listen anyway.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has made its opposition very clear, however, saying that Putin plans to force technology companies, like Facebook and Google, to store information about Russian citizens on Russian soil.
This is something that the firms are likely to baulk at. Microsoft has a strong response to US demands for access to data stored in Ireland and, while the Russian authorities have made an attempt at talks, no agreements have been made.
RFE/RL links to a statement from Roskomnadzor, the Russian official digital guard dog, which confirms at least one meeting.
"The head of Roskomnadzor, Alexander Zharov, met with Thomas Mirup Christensen, the director of public policy of Facebook in Scandinavia, central and eastern Europe and Russia," said the statement.
"The meeting discussed a wide range of issues of cooperation of the company with the supervisory authority in the execution of the requirements of the Russian legislation."
We have asked Facebook to confirm or discuss this, and the company pointed us back to RFE/RL where a spokesperson revealed that Facebook has this sort of chat all the time.
We last met the Roskomnadzor when the banning of Reddit was being discussed. The Iron Curtain was about to fall on the news and information sharing site because of talk about magic mushrooms. And we aren't talking about ones that pull rabbits from hats. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score