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Degtyaryov Proposes Social Network Controls

Liberal Democratic Party Deputy Mikhail Degtyaryov has submitted a bill to the State Duma to control social networks, proposing mandatory verification and fines for the unwarranted use of individual's information.

The law punishes the unauthorized use of social network users' personal information in the media with a fine of up to 500,000 rubles ($15,180) or five years imprisonment, Izvestia reported.

Degtyaryov, 32, who is his party's candidate in Moscow's mayoral elections, said personal information is often used to create derogatory material targeting social network users' public and business reputations.

The bill would also require users to be verified when registering on a network. The bill does not specify what method the social networks should implement but mentions sending messages to a user's cell phone or asking for passport information.

Degtyaryov's legislation would affect only those social networks whose audience primarily consists of Russian residents and whose domain names are registered in Russia, the largest being Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki.

Foreign social networks as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Badoo and Orkut will have to comply with requirements in a future bill, Degtyarev said.

Meanwhile, his colleagues in the Duma were skeptical with regards to the new bill.

United Russia Deputy Robert Shlegel said the proposals and implementation mechanisms presented in the bill were "inviable."

However, fellow United Russia member Ilya Kostunov told Izvestia he liked the bill for giving state protection to users of social networks "who do not hide their faces and are ready to renounce their anonymity."

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