Russian parliament votes to adopt controversial privacy law

AP , Friday 3 Jul 2015

Deputies attend a session of the Duma, Russia's lower house of Parliament, in Moscow January 25, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

Lawmakers in the Russian parliament have voted for a bill forcing online search engines to remove search results about a specific person at that person's request.

The Russian State Duma on Friday voted overwhelmingly for the controversial law that critics say could be used to block information critical of the government or government officials.

Though similar to one recently adopted by the European Union, the Russian law is more sweeping, extending the right of removal to public figures and information that is considered in the public interest.

Under the new law, a person can request that search engines like Google remove the search results of their name if the information about them is "no longer relevant" without specifying which links they want removed.

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