1. Russia adopts European-style data protection law
Russia has joined the European data protection club and adopted a ‘need to know' freedom of information act. On the last two days of its session, on July 7 and 8, the Duma (Russian Parliament) rushed through a pair of information laws establishing a right to privacy and a limited right of access to government information. The privacy law is modelled on the Council of Europe's Convention on Data Protection and the European Union's Data Protection Directive. The laws should give Russia protection against any Western European boycott on exports of personal information because of perceived deficiencies in Russian privacy protection. The ‘right to know' act is really a ‘need to know' law, giving access to government information only when the information affects the rights and interests of an individual or company. On 27 July President Putin signed both laws, which will go into effect in 2007.
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