Who benefits from the “landing” law?

Who benefits from the “landing” law?

On 1 July the Civic Chamber hosted a round table “Law on the ‘lading’ of foreign IT companies - everyone wins!”. The participants discussed the consequences of the entry into force of the federal law "On Activities of Foreign Entities on the Internet Information and Telecommunications Network on the Territory of the Russian Federation", which was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin the same day.

Who benefits from the “landing” law?

According to the law, any foreign Internet company, whose daily audience in Russia exceeds 500 thousand users, will have to open a representative office or branch or establish a Russian legal entity in our country.

The discussion was attended by State Duma member Anton Gorelkin, Executive Director of the Association of Communication Agencies of Russia Valentin Smolyakov, First Deputy Chairman of the Commission for the Development of the Information Society of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation Alexander Malkevich, Director of Center for Global IT Cooperation Vadim Glushchenko, Vice President on interaction with government authorities of AliExpress Russia Sergey Lebedev; and Artyom Kiryanov, Chairman of the Russian Union of Taxpayers. The moderator was Vadim Vinogradov, head of the Working Group of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation on legislation in the field of Internet technologies and digitalization.

Experts noted that the law will provide equal conditions for the implementation of legislation for Russian and foreign players in the domestic digital market, as well as an equal tax burden. In addition, according to the participants of the Round Table, the official branches will help to establish an effective dialogue between foreign online platforms, Russian government agencies and users.

At the same time, as noted by one of the authors of the law, MP Anton Gorelkin, the platforms are unlikely to leave Russia due to new responsibilities: “We have the largest and most promising European digital advertising market, therefore I am convinced that no one will leave from the market due to some personal reasons. And those representatives of some foreign digital platforms with whom I consulted are studying the law and are ready to implement it”.

The emergence of representative offices of foreign IT giants in Russia will ensure the digital rights of the Russian citizens. Now, in order to hold companies accountable, you have to contact their offices abroad. Such requests are often ignored. The opening of representative offices will make the procedure for interacting with digital online platforms transparent in cases when they violate Russian law, for example, by not deleting destructive content.

Russia is not the first country in the world to try to ‘land’ the Internet giants. Requirements for opening of representative offices of global technology corporations in order to solve certain problems are in force in Turkey and a number of European countries. Soon this may happen on the scale of the entire European Union. “Now in the EU, the reform of the entire ecosystem of digital services is in full swing, the main element of which is the draft Digital Services Act,” Vadim Glushchenko, Director of Center for Global IT Cooperation, addressed the world practice. - “Within the framework of this bill there is an article on legal representatives, which obliges the owners of digital platforms that do not have representative offices in the EU, to appoint an official and authorized representative in one of the EU countries. At the same time, the profile committee of the European Parliament on the internal market and consumer protection has gone even further - it proposes to expand this provision in such a way that legal representatives are endowed with sufficient resources, not only to interact with the country's authorities and competent EU authorities, but also to bear responsibility on behalf of the platform for violation of the requirements of the "Act on Digital Services", including in terms of paying fines. Thus, the ‘landing’ of digital platforms is, of course, a global trend".

For platforms that do not fulfill the requirement to open a representative office, branch or establishment of a Russian legal entity, coercive measures may be taken up to a complete restriction of access on the territory of Russia.

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