Young foreign agents, get ready for registration!


One line at a time - stand!


On Wednesday, a remarkable event took place in the State Duma of the Russian Federation: the information policy committee recommended the adoption of amendments to the law on foreign agents, allowing this status to be applied to ordinary citizens of Russia, not legal entities. It is clear that it’s not for everyone, but only for those who participate in the creation of materials from foreign media agents or distribute them, or receive money from foreign sources or from their Russian representatives.

The goal of these amendments, as always, is good: to provide greater transparency (for the consumer of information) of where the wind is blowing from. Moreover, the law adopted earlier, in 2017, extended mainly to legal entities. But we do understand that now a different citizen, broadcasting on YouTube and having a couple of millions of subscribers there, can compete with the official television channel in its influence. Moreover, because of the selectivity of the audience, a blogger, as a rule, has much more confidence in his audience than a broadcasting channel for everyone.


Just in case, let’s clarify: we are not talking about censorship or blocking of some, as they now like to say, “opinion leader”. No, according to the norms of the law, he will only have to openly notify his audience that he is a foreign agent. In addition, the legal burden on him will increase significantly: the issue of mandatory legal registration of new foreign agents is being discussed. True, the information policy committee emphasized that only large bloggers recognized by foreign agents will be required to register as legal entities. Moreover, the chairman of the committee on information policy Leonid Levin emphasized that the new rules of the law will not apply to bloggers. The law, he said, will be selective, and its main purpose is to have the possibility of a “mirror response” to our ill-wishers.

Moreover, according to officials who advocate the adoption of new provisions of the law, it will not be automatically applied even to journalists of foreign publications already recognized in Russia as foreign agents. But measures for violation of the new norms of the law have already been provided, and if they are adopted, citizens who violate the procedures for the activity of a foreign media agent will have to pay from 10 000 to 100 000 rubles. For officials, the fine will be from 50 000 to 200 000 rubles, and for legal amounts and even more - from 500 000 to 5 000 000 rubles.

Act what drawbar?


Now, having gone from numbers and officialdom, let's pay attention to some aspects of the issue, which for some reason are almost never discussed now. Moreover, it is in them, as it seems, that there will be the main “hitch” ...

First of all, it seems very strange to me the very question of the selectivity of the application of the law. The law, I remind you, is such a thing that should be applied with equal justice (and obligation!) To everyone! Even talking about the "selective application of the law" is illegal and unacceptable! And even more so if legislators, members of the State Duma speak about this ...

Actually, one of the key markers that determine the necessity and justification of the law is precisely whether it can be applied to absolutely everyone. And if not, it cannot, then the need for its adoption is immediately called into question. For a big question, I’ll notice ...

Further. Let us note the grounds for abuse and corruption that necessarily arise in the case of selective application. So what: the “authorized comrade” phoned a dozen top YouTube bloggers, scared me, then talked privately, and here you have a little apartment for a son, a little girl’s car, a velvet camisole for your beloved dog.

Frankly, it smells like some kind of mental disorder: open talk of lawmakers about the selective application of the laws they adopt. For this, excuse me, get out of the Duma and from the profession.

But if the application is not selective, we get something like this: absolutely all (!!!) YouTube bloggers who monetize their views on this platform should register as foreign agents. And no “if” - they meet the criteria for new legislative initiatives, they receive money from a foreign company, they have some influence on their viewers. And a big blogger or a small one is completely irrelevant now: the size of the channel is not established by law and will be applied selectively as the left foot wants.

KamAZ for offshore ...


Purely theoretically, I understand that these innovations should, according to the intention of their developers, “tame” such “bloggers” as Navalny or Dud. But I’m afraid that it will turn out, as always: the audience of specifically these people do not give a damn about the status of a foreign agent, they will also congratulate Lesha and Yura on this. But for hundreds and thousands of bloggers less, this will mean one thing - to be “on the hook” or really start spending money on lawyers, accounting, and so on.

What do you think, out of how many yet neutral to power bloggers this will make frenzied fighters with the regime? Right - almost all of them. And then they, for once, will have at least some reason for their dislike.


Well, the Kremlin will once again pay for someone’s desire to break their forehead in a fit of loyal lawmaking. Whoever doubts, let him remember the pension reform, which did not solve any of the tasks before it ...

That is, there is a very obvious case of counterproductive lawmaking. Moreover, this time it is generally on the verge of insanity, since it does not even solve structural problems minimally: it will not shut anyone up, bloggers supported from abroad will pay the mentioned fines with a grin, and even expand their audience in the wake of the rising “hype”.

It should be noted that after the so-called law on reposts, the authorities already have certain opportunities to curb too zealous bloggers and video bloggers. Well, a rather strict punishment for disseminating false information, also in accordance with the recent legislative initiative, made many fans of “hype in an adult way” reconcile and finally start to think about what they publish in their social networks and video blogs. The potential of this kind of initiative has been exhausted, then you can only make it worse ...

But it seems that some of our legislators are exactly what they are achieving ...

Alas, the probability that the Duma will nevertheless accept these amendments is quite high. So, you and I will still witness all kinds of flash mobs from hundreds and thousands of bloggers, we will see millions of their young followers asking to write them to foreign agents, or ...

Ljubo will not see anything other than “selective use”, which is very suitable for the old joke. Do you remember? “We made a noise, made a noise, and ate a man” ...

Or maybe soon we will see another truck of cash seized from the “authorized comrade”. There are many thousands of bloggers. Not banks, of course, but little by little, and KamAZ with cash is ready to be sent offshore ...
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