In the state Duma called excessive fines for news aggregators

Excessive requirements

The introduction of an additional liability for owners of news aggregators redundant, it follows from the conclusion of the Duma Committee on constitutional legislation and state construction (constitutional Committee) on the bill on news aggregators (text is available). In addition, the Committee believes that the size of the fines proposed in the bill, disproportionate to the current Code of administrative offences (Cao).

The constitutional Committee together with profile Committee of the state Duma on the information policy is co-executor of the bill on news aggregators, since it deals with amendments to the Administrative code.

Amendments to the law “On information, information technologies and about protection of information” and the administrative code governing the work of news aggregators, have been submitted to the Duma on 25 February, MPs from the Committee on media Alexei Kazakov (a just Russia) and Alexander Yushchenko (CPRF). The authors of the bill want to require news aggregators to check the information disseminated, to ensure that among the materials the media did not appear extremist, and on request of Roskomnadzor to restrict the access of readers to information in the event that she violates the law. For failure to comply with these requirements with the aggregators may result in a fine from 100-200 thousand to 5 million rubles.

The members of the constitutional Committee note that the concept of “news aggregator” as such is not fixed neither in the legislation nor in the proposed amendments. This makes it possible to “varying interpretations of the bill” and could lead to inconsistent enforcement, warn the members of the Committee.

They also believe that the bill Kazakova and Yushchenko introduces excessive responsibility for news aggregators for failing to follow the requirements of Roskomnadzor: according to the project, they shall, at the request of the Agency to suspend the dissemination of information. Failure to perform the requirements of public authorities, whether decision, submission or decision, and without additional regulation shall entail imposition of penalty under the current administrative code, therefore the need for additional regulation “is not seen”, said in a note. The present wording of the bill impossible to determine “the scope, nature and terms” of news, to which access may be restricted at the request of Roskomnadzor, the authors note the conclusion.

Finally, the members of the constitutional Committee believe that the penalties proposed in the bill, disproportionate to the maximum amounts of administrative fines provided for in the administrative code. The highest penalties the bill provides for owners of news aggregators in the event of default of the requirements of “bringing the constituent documents into conformity with the requirements provided for by law”, — 400-500 thousand roubles for citizens and from 3 to 5 million rubles for legal entities. In this case, in the opinion of the members of the constitutional Committee, the draft law does not set the requirements, the violation of which would be considered a violation of the law.

The head of the Committee on information policy, information technologies and communications Leonid Levin explained that before the first reading of a bill must obtain the opinion of the relevant Committee, i.e. the Committee, which Levin heads, and the legal Department of the state Duma, which considers each bill. According to Levin, Committee on information policy intends to consider the bill Friday, April 15. By this point, as he says, the Committee will receive an opinion from the legal Department. The first reading of the bill, according to Lewin, must pass before the end of April.

Criticized earlier

Earlier the review the bill gave the Ministry of communications. In its present form, the document “could lead to a significant restriction of activity and even closure of the Russian service of search and news aggregation,” wrote the Deputy Ministry of communications Alexei Volin. A significant portion of traffic online media accounts for news aggregators, respectively, restriction or closure of such services will lead to falling audience and revenue online media, he noted. Wolin pointed out that the requirements of the MPs are redundant, as news aggregators work with the information previously published in the media, and this information in turn is regulated by the law on mass media.

Criticized the bill and market participants. Representatives of “Yandex” has repeatedly said that the company will fail to comply with the requirement of the draft law on pre-moderation aggregated news, and did not rule out that in case the bill is passed in its current form the service “Yandex.News” will be closed. Director of “Yandex” on legal issues Ekaterina Fadeeva during the discussion of the bill in the Duma insisted that if I want news aggregators equated to mass media, then they should be granted the same exemption from liability which apply to media in the article 57 of the law on mass media. This article, in particular, with the media takes responsibility for the reprinting of news reports if they are unreliable.

With what is responsible for the introduction of the reprint of the information is redundant, agreed and Leonid Levin. “Today the media do not bear such responsibility, and all agree that this rule in any case should be excluded from the bill,” said Levin on April 8.