Russians protest against new anti-terrorism laws with a rare permit

Moscow, Aug. 10 : Hundreds of critics of the Russian Government gathered in Moscow to protest against a new set of anti-terrorism laws, signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in July this year.

Critics have called this new legislation as intrusive measures, including requirements to store all communications data for six months, and phone and texting records for one to three years, reports the New York Times.

The protest was held with a rare permit, on Tuesday evening in a secluded section of Sokolniki Park, a location chosen by the city government after it rejected more central sites.

The protesters condemned the legislation as an assault on privacy and internet freedom. Speakers at the rally, activists, politicians and technology experts, called on the citizens to resist government attempts to tighten control over the internet, which many view as the last safe space for dissent in Russia.

The Russian Libertarian Party pitched that "the internet belongs to us" while others limited their criticism to the encroachment on internet freedom.

Many condemned the new law as part of the corruption and injustice pervasive in Russia. Opposition politician Leonid Volkov also railed against the "countless laws passed for the sole purpose of putting money in officials' pockets." The storage capacity needed to enforce the new law is expected to cost at least USD 15 billion.

Source: ANI