International

Bill Proposes Requirement Of Russian Software On Tech Devices

Russian lawmakers are proposing legislation that would require all smartphones, computers and smart TVs sold in Russia to come pre-installed with certain Russian software.

Reuters reported that the draft bill aims to support domestic software producers, allowing authorities to create a list of mandatory, local software. If passed, it would go into effect in July 2020. Companies that do not comply would be fined anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 rubles ($790-3,170) starting in January 2021.

The proposal needs to be backed by the lower house of parliament and then by the upper house and President Vladimir Putin in order to become a law.

The country has worked to impose tougher internet laws in recent years, including ordering search engines to delete certain results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services and social networks to store user data on servers in the country.

Russia certainly isn’t the only nation looking to set limits on the internet. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission both announced that they were working together on probes of the country’s four large tech companies, which involve the misuse of market power.

The topic has also become a hot-button issue in the presidential election, with U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announcing a plan to break up large tech firms like Facebook and Amazon.

“Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy,” Warren wrote in a blog post. “They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.”

And just last week a draft bill to limit “Big Tech’s” entry into finance and crypto was leaked online from the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

“A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,” the document said.

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