Legal Department of the State Duma does not agree with the “right to oblivion”

    The State Duma’s website published an official opinion of the State Duma Legal Department on the draft law “rights to oblivion”. Recall that the bill provides for the citizens of Russia the opportunity to seek the removal of links to information that is relevant to the citizen from search results, if the citizen considers such a link to be false, irrelevant or distributed in violation of the law. "The right to oblivion" does not apply to criminal offenses, according to Vedomosti. Moreover, the bill indicates the right to remove such links without a court order. A citizen goes to court already after the search service refused to remove the link.

    According to representatives of the Legal Department of the State Duma, the provisions specified in the bill must be correlated with Article 152 of the Civil Code. This article already provides for a citizen’s right to delete information, not a link to the information itself. At the same time, the mechanism for exercising such a right in court works in a similar way if a citizen can prove the discrepancy of the information posted on the Web with the actual state of things. “In this regard, we believe that the establishment of the fact that information about a citizen distributed on the Internet is reliable or not is within the competence of the court, not the search engine operator, and should be carried out as part of a lawsuit against a person directly disseminating such information” - says the conclusion.

    The legal department of the State Duma indicates that search engines cannot determine the presence of signs of criminal offenses in the events, as well as the timing of criminal prosecution. This is the competence of the court and law enforcement agencies.

    Lawyers of the administration also note the ambiguity of the concept of "irrelevant information", which is contained in the bill. “In our opinion, if information has lost significance for the applicant, this does not mean that it has lost significance for other individuals and society as a whole, and therefore an attempt to restrict the free distribution of such information may lead to a violation of the constitutional rights of others to freely seek, receive transmit, produce and disseminate information in any legal way, ”the report says.

    The Office also believes that the main purpose of restricting access to illegal information is the complete removal of such information from the network, and not links to such information from search results. All comments of the department were transferred to the State Duma’s specialized committee on information policy.

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    Do you agree with the provisions of the “right to oblivion” bill?

    • 4.8% Yes, completely 8
    • 6.7% Yes, but the bill needs to be finalized 11
    • 82.9% No, disagree 136
    • 5.4% I don't care 9

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