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Russian State Duma Considers Banning Foreign Owners for News Aggregators

Russian State Duma

The Russian State Duma has accepted the first reading of a bill that would reclassify large news aggregators as media outlets, the Interfax news agency reported Monday.

Under the bill, foreign states, citizens and international organizations would no longer be allowed to own news aggregators in Russia.

"The project introduces the new concept of a 'news aggregator.' We are proposing to introduce a special set of laws for aggregators with the more than 1 million users more per day," said one of the bill's authors, Alexander Yushchenko, at the Duma committee meeting, Interfax reported.

He noted that the bill is highly relevant due to "the high information load" carried by the news outlets and the necessity to counter the spread of “false information” on the Internet.

"All arguments against this bill completely collapsed during the discussion at the round table," Yushchenko said.

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