Russian lawmakers approve plan to take more control over internet traffic

Russian lawmakers are moving forward with a proposal to take more control over Internet traffic in the country, The Associated Press reports.

Under the proposal, Russian Internet traffic would be required to be sent through servers in the country, according to AP which gives the country more influence to monitor and censor information. The bill was approved by the State Duma and will now go to the upper legislative chamber before going to President Putin's desk for a signature.

Russia has said that the law is necessary to protect its national security interests, but critics have pointed out that the country's sad record of censorship is a reason for skepticism. Last month, the country passed a law banning the distribution of "fake news" online, which critics say was simply a way to punish government critics.

Russia has also taken action against technology companies directly, banning the encrypted Telegram messaging service last year and fighting with Google for links to forbidden websites.

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