Russian “Business Patriots” Want All Internet Users to Register with Government

A Russian business group describing itself as an “Entrepreneurs Association for the Development of Business Patriotism” is asking Russia’s Parliament to introduce mandatory government registration for Internet access, TASS reports.

The head of the Avanti organization, Rakhman Yansukov, proposes that anyone who wants to go online in Russia should verify their identity electronically with the authorities. According to this initiative, minors would be required to register using their parents’ or legal guardians’ identity documents.

“Complaints by domestic business representatives to our organization about open sabotage, spam attacks and other unscrupulous methods of conducting competition have become more frequent lately,” says Yansukov. “The adoption of the proposed changes will serve as a solid basis for the eradication of illegal actions on the Internet, and will prevent provocations aimed at destabilizing the political situation in the country.”

Andrey Svintsov, an LDPR party member and the deputy head of the State Duma’s informational policy committee, told TASS that he’s ready to initiate a discussion on the legislative proposal in parliament.

“We need to know what Russians themselves think about this,” he told the state-run news agency.

“Avanti” was founded in 2014 by Umar Dzhabrailov (a former senator from Chechnya), who’s perhaps best known for firing gunshots at the ceiling of his Four Seasons hotel room in Moscow in August 2017 while on drugs. (He was later convicted of disorderly conduct and fined 500,000 rubles — about $7,825).

In 2017, Avanti proposed the establishment of a “Patriotism Day” in Russia, to be held on August 6, the anniversary of President Vladimir Putin’s decision to impose a ban on Western food imports.

Russia’s Culture Ministry initially supported the idea, but officials later told journalists that the proposal was “unnecessary.”