Russian parliament adopts internet controls bill

MOSCOW — Russia’s lower chamber of parliament has adopted a bill that would expand government control over the internet, raising fears of widespread censorship.

The State Duma on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to support the bill, which still has to be approved by the upper chamber of Russian Parliament and signed into the law by the president.

The bill requires internet providers to install equipment to route Russian internet traffic through servers in the country. That would increase the power of state agencies to control information while users would find it harder to circumvent government restrictions, and the quality of the connection may suffer.

Proponents of the bill say it is a defence measure in case the United States or other hostile powers cut off the internet for Russia.

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