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Snowden slams Russia's "Big Brother" laws as anti-terrorism bill is passed by lower house

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Gary Tokarski
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A Russian anti-terrorist bill that, among other things, makes backdoors in encrypted messaging apps mandatory, has been passed by the country s lower house of parliament.

The so-called Yarovaya law, which was introduced as a response to the bombing of a Russian passenger jet over Egypt last October, has drawn criticism from a number of privacy advocates, including Edward Snowden, who has been living in Russia since 2013 following his NSA whistle-blowing antics.

Snowden called the law an "unworkable, unjustifiable violation of rights that should never be signed.

Moreover, anyone expressing an approval of terrorism online will face up to seven years in prison, and the maximum penalty for extremism – a term that covers protesters, bloggers, and social media users who oppose the government – will be increased from four to eight years in prison.

The companies claim the cost of storing this extra data would amount to more than $33 billion.

It also lowers the age of criminal responsibility for many offenses to 14.

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Gary Tokarski
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