16 Sep 2021 16:32

Russia ready for harsher restrictions on foreign IT companies - Duma's Piskaryov

MOSCOW. Sept 16 (Interfax) - The Russian parliament is ready to place additional legislative curbs on foreign IT giants in the context of the violations committed by Apple and Google, head of the State Duma Security and Anti-Corruption Committee Vasily Piskaryov said.

"In this case, harsher laws will serve as a reciprocal measure. Russia has to react to the systemic violation of our laws by foreign IT corporations and their attempts to interfere in Russian internal affairs, including our elections," Piskaryov told reporters on Thursday.

At the same time, the severity of new laws will depend on the further conduct of Apple and Google, he said.

"Today, the kind of amendments to be endorsed by the new State Duma mostly depends on Apple and Google. We will be closely monitoring their conduct in the near future and will evaluate their readiness to comply with the laws of the Russian Federation," Piskaryov said.

The State Duma is already working on a package of laws that would set stricter requirements to digital giants, Piskaryov said. The amendments will be "harsh" and may include not only fines on foreign IT companies but also penalties for "managers responsible for their operations in Russia," he said.

"The adoption of these amendments will be a priority task of deputies to be elected to the State Duma in September," Piskaryov said.

The deputy added that Apple and Google would be held responsible for the attempted interference in Russian elections. "The catch with technicalities of subsidiaries' restriction" will not help them avoid punishment, he said. According to Piskaryov, "particular entities and persons associated with those digital platforms" will be held liable for the violations.