In part of a push by Russia to beef up what it calls internet “sovereignty,” Russian lawmakers passed legislation on Thursday that would oblige Apple and other U.S. tech firms to open offices in Russia by January 2022 or face punitive measures.
Russia has cracked down on U.S. internet companies in recent months and slowed down Twitter’s internet traffic since March to punish it for not deleting what Moscow says is banned content.
The new legislation, which passed its third and final reading in the lower house of parliament, requires foreign sites with more than half a million daily users in Russia to set up a local branch or Russian legal entity.
The lack of such a requirement currently allows foreign sites to formally remain outside of Russia’s jurisdiction, the bill’s authors said…
The bill needs to be approved by the upper house of parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin before it becomes law. That is widely expected to happen.
MacDailyNews Note: Websites that do not comply by opening a local office would be marked as being non-compliant on search engines in Russia, they could be excluded from search engine results, and banned from advertising in Russia and for Russians, the Duma said on its website.