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Is the Kremlin Watering Down Russia's ‘Right to Be Forgotten’?

Images edited by Kevin Rothrock.

Images edited by Kevin Rothrock.

According to the news agency RBC, Kremlin officials met privately on Monday, June 15, with representatives of Yandex, Russia's largest Internet search engine, and reached a compromise that will weaken the next draft of legislation designed to introduce to the RuNet a “right to be forgotten.”

According to RBC‘s source in the Duma, lawmakers have agreed to remove a controversial component of the legislation's first draft that would have allowed individuals to force search engines to delete links to any personal information that is more than three years old—even without evidence that the information is inaccurate or libelous.

According to Yandex spokesperson Asya Melkumova, the tech giant also lobbied Putin’s deputy chief of staff, Vyacheslav Volodin, to drop language in the bill that would saddle search engines with determining the legality of deletion requests. Yandex says a state agency—not private companies—should manage this task, which would require significant resources from websites and expose them to substantial legal liability. Melkumova says the Kremlin did not agree to remove these requirements, however.

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