A controversial law that would allow Russia to cut internet traffic from international servers came into force yesterday, prompting fears from rights activists of online isolation.
The law, which President Vladimir Putin signed in May, requires Russian internet providers to install technical devices provided by the authorities to enable centralised control of traffic.
They will also filter content to prevent access to banned websites.
Supporters of the legislation say the aim is to ensure Russian sites keep working if they are unable to connect to international servers or in the case of a threat from abroad such as cyber attacks.
But rights activists say it is another censorship bid following previous efforts in Russia to block services such as the LinkedIn social media site and the Telegram messenger service.
Human Rights Watch warned that the law means the “Russian government will gain even greater control over freedom of speech and information online”.