Vladimir Putin is going to new lengths to control not just the actions, but the words of his people. The Russian president just signed a new law, passed by the legislature on Monday, that will allow the government to monitor and censor more of the Internet. This comes on the same day that he ruled that swearing is not allowed in movies, theater, or in concerts as of July 1.
The online regulations, which go into effect August 1, are aimed at silencing opposition websites, while also providing the Russian government with a wealth of user data. The law requires blogs with 3,000 or more unique visitors per day to register as "mass media." Those bloggers will be held to the same standards as other mass media, in that they will be "required to certify the factual accuracy of the information in their blogs" or risk punishment.
Irina Yarovaya, one of the leading sponsors of the law, told NPR, "In principle, anonymity is always deception. It's a wish to mislead someone. I can't see any reason to raise lying to [the status of] a human virtue or an understanding of what freedom is." The new regulations can, and likely will, successfully shutter digital anonymity in Russia.