Russian parliament has just passed a bill that could change the way its citizens access the internet in a major way. The bill demands that all the data of Russian citizens being stored by various apps and websites must be done within in the country.
If the bill were to become law it would effectively mean that Russian internet users will not be able to use sites and services like Twitter and Facebook unless those companies choose to implement infrastructure inside of Russia. Reports also say that those companies will not be able to send data from within the Russian Federation to the rest of the world without specific government approval.
The move to keep Russian data local could be a continuation of the country separating itself from Western technology. We recently spotted a report from a Russian newspaper saying that the country will no longer buy American made computers for state-run companies and government facilities.
National security issues could also be the reason, but some are suggesting it is just another attempt by the Russian government to control its citizens online. Russian internet users are already subject to a much stricter code of conduct than in the US, the government recently began to force bloggers to register their names and email address and abide by a very strict set of limitations based on traffic volume. Just this week, changes made to a Russian anti-extremist law now allows the government to punish those posting what it considers inappropriate material online.
While there is a date of September 2016 on the bill, there are several other stages it will have to pass through before it actually gets set into law.