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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bill Tightens Media Coverage of Terror

The State Duma passed in the key second reading Wednesday amendments to the law on mass media and the law on fighting terrorism aimed at regulating media coverage of security crises.

The amendments prohibit the media from distributing information that hinders a counter-terrorist operation and "reveals special methods and tactics" used in such operations or the people involved in them. It also bans the media from "propaganda or justification of extremist activity" and explaining how to build weapons or ammunition.

Liberal lawmaker Alexei Arbatov said the amendments, if applied broadly, could be used to ban public discussion of the government's policy during a crisis or the policies carried out under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

Moscow State University media law expert Andrei Richter said the amendments are simply a technicality that add little to existing legislation.