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Russia: Duma announces bill requiring IT operators to establish office in Russia

The State Parliament ('Duma') announced, on 21 May 2021, that Bill No. 1176731-7 had been introduced. In particular, the bill aims to regulate foreign companies engaged in IT activities that affect the interests of Russian citizens and establish a level playing field across the industry. As such, the bill provides for a set of measures to compel IT operators to comply with Russian legislation. Furthermore, if enacted, the bill would require owners of information resources with a daily audience of more than 500,000 Russian users to establish a branch or a representative office in the Russian Federation, which would represent the interests of its parent company and act as a point of contact for government authorities. Notably, similar obligations would apply to service providers involved in:

  • disseminating information in Russia;
  • targeting advertisement towards Russian consumers;
  • processing the data of users located in Russia; and
  • receiving money from Russian citizens and organisations.

In addition, the bill provides for additional measures to compel compliance, including banning the distribution of advertisements, banning the collection and cross-border transfer of personal data, and restricting the use of the information resources.

You can read the press release here and track the bill's progress here, all only available in Russian.

UPDATE (2 June 2021)

Bill passes first reading

Bill No. 1176731-7 passed, on 1 June 2021, first reading after consideration in the Duma. In particular, further amendments to the bill are expected shortly.

You can track the bill's progress, only available in Russian, here.

UPDATE (18 June 2021)

Duma adopts bill at third reading with amendments

The Duma announced, on 17 June 2021, that Bill No. 1176731-7 had been adopted with amendments following its third reading. In particular, the bill had been amended to clarify its scope and, as a result, specifically includes foreign entities carrying out activities on the internet within the territory of Russia.

The bill will now be considered by the Federal Council before being signed by the President and published in the Russian Gazette.

You can read the press release, only available in Russian, here.