Controversial New Law Will Affect Businesses Targeting Russia

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3 September 2015. The Russian government has introduced a controversial new law that requires all companies that handle Russian citizen’s personal data to physically store this data within Russian borders. The move means that both Russian and international companies must store any relevant data in data centres in Russia. The move has been met with opposition from commentators who say the law makes government surveillance of its citizens much easier, thereby curbing internet freedom. Andrei Soldatov, a Russian internet historian, has spoken out against the law, saying: “It has nothing to do with personal data protection. [The Russian government] want foreign companies to put their servers on Russian territory because they need access.” The social media giant Facebook has spoken out against the change as well, saying that it would be logistically very difficult to separate out Russian data, as it would require a complete re-shuffle of how it organises and stores its data across servers.

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