Russian President Vladimir Putin inked a new set of controversial anti-terrorism laws onto the books Thursday. The laws increase the government’s surveillance ability, making communications operators keep data for three years and forcing them to hand it over to security services on request.
Human rights groups and Russian businesses have both spoken out against the new laws, arguing they will be an impediment to human rights and harm businesses forced to share and store information. Critics have also argued that the laws will give the government sweeping powers to define mass unrest and enable them to prosecute any opponents.
“This is an absolutely draconian law, even the Soviet Union did not have such an overwhelmingly repressive legislation,” Gennady Gudkov, an opposition leader told the Los Angeles Times. “This is 100 percent a step toward an Iron Curtain.”