President Putin signs Right to Forgotten Law


A «right to be forgotten» on the Internet law has been signed by President Putin of Russia. As explained by the Kremlin press office, «the federal law stipulates that, on demand of an individual (complainant), a search engine operator must cease the provision of URL data allowing access to information about the complainant disseminated in violation of the laws of the Russian Federation, inaccurate, or outdated, having lost relevance to an individual due to their actions or subsequent events».

«Exempt is information on events containing essential elements of a criminal offence still punishable in accordance with the statute of limitations, and information on offences committed by an individual with the conviction record not expunged or removed» clarified Kremlin spokesperson.

«The law defines a search engine as an information system that, upon a user’s request, searches the Internet for a specified piece of information and provides them with a URL of an Internet site’s page to access the requested information, located on third-party Internet sites» it further comments. According to experts, «the definition does not extend to information systems used for exercising state and local authorities’ functions, as well as other public functions mandated by federal laws».

Moreover, «the law establishes the procedure for the individual to communicate their demand to the search engine operator, and for the operator to engage with the complainant to satisfy their demand or to decline to do so».

«Should the claimant deem the latter unfounded, they are granted the right to file a claim in court requiring search engine operator to cease the provision of links to information cited in the complaint» the Kremlin spokesperson indicates.

The law itself, passing its third reading, was approved by the Russian State Duma (Parliament) on July 3. After its first reading, the draft bill had been criticized by the Internet community, but following discussions between the legislators and representatives of the industry, had some of its provisions amended.