Russia’s ‘Big Brother’ data law now in force: Kremlin spies are the big winners

Russia’s big data-retention law came into force on Sunday, forcing telecom providers in the country to store details of people’s communications for the benefit of the Russian intelligence services.

The surveillance regime goes beyond the data-retention laws that have been introduced in some European countries, such as the UK’s Investigatory Powers Act, because it covers the contents of communications, as well as the metadata about who was contacting whom, and when.

The law is part of a legislative package known as the ‘Yarovaya laws’, because they were partly written by conservative legislator Irina Yarovaya.

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