Russia has positioned the law as a security and privacy measure designed to counter the increasingly aggressive cybersecurity stance of the United States and the increasingly dangerous overall security threat landscape. But activists outside Russia and other international observers say the law will give the Putin government greater control over domestic Internet traffic.
Currently, Russia has maintained relatively tight control in allowing US social media companies to enter the market and is using alternative services supported by the Russian government to replace services such as Facebook and Google Gmail.
The new regulation, called Stable Runet, will give Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor broader powers to monitor network traffic and possibly provide a "shutdown switch" that will make Russia more widely in the event of a cyber attack. The internet is disconnected.
According to industry insiders, no matter how this regulation is implemented, it may further promote the so-called "Internet Balkanization", that is, the global cyberspace will enter a "fragmented" era of "divided by sovereign barriers."