Russia's New “Blogger Law” Forces Writers to Register With Government

First curse words, now bloggers: On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law—referred to as the "blogger's law"—that will require online writers with more than 3,000 daily readers to register with the Roskomnadzor, Russia's media oversight agency.

Under the new law, which also affects microblogs and social networks, popular bloggers will no longer be able to remain anonymous and will be required to publish their names and email addresses.

From Reporters Without Borders:

[Bloggers] will be required to confirm the accuracy of the information they post, to respect the electoral law and to refrain from using swearwords. Using blogs and social networks to "hide or falsify information of general interest" or bring a citizen or group into disrepute will be forbidden. Such vaguely-worded bans are open to every kind of interpretation.

"This law will cut the number of critical voices and opposition voices on the Internet," Galina Arapova, director of the Mass Media Defense Center and an expert on Russian media law, told the New York Times. "The whole package seems quite restrictive and might affect harshly those who disseminate critical information about the state, about authorities, about public figures."

Putin signed the new law just weeks after denouncing the internet as a "CIA project."

[Image via AP]