Saturday, July 16, 2016

Most Dangerous Aspect of Yarovaya Law for Regime is How Easily Russians Can Sabotage It

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 16 – Many are focusing on the odious features of the Yarovaya “package” that Vladimir Putin has signed into law, but they have missed its “most offensive” and dangerous aspect for the regime, Mikhail Klimaryov says. The package is so poorly written that Russians will be able to sabotage its provisions and even take steps to organize themselves more generally.

            And having sabotaged that law, the Russian blogger says, they will not only consider how they can sabotage other Russian laws but lose whatever little respect they have for laws as such, a development that will make it even more difficult for the powers that be to control the situation (

            “For the Kremlin and the FSB,” he argues, the law will result in “humiliation and ridicule” because it is so poorly drafted, is so far out of line with reality, and is, whatever many fear, “unbelievably easy to sabotage” both in advance and whenever the authorities may try to enforce it.

            On June 24, Klimaryov writes, “without a declaration of war,” the Russian legislature “attacked” Russia’s Internet business by attacking our constitutional right to secure communications” and what may matter even more, threatening to “empty the wallets” of Russian companies in that sector.

            “All responsibility for this attack on Good Sense entirely and completely falls on the Duma … the Federation Council … and [Vladimir] Putin who signed it into law.” That means that the old adage about a good tsar with bad boyars doesn’t apply in this case, although some have suggested that the new law isn’t that bad and that they can live with it.

            The blogger says that he is “consciously putting the accent on the economic component of ‘the Yarovaya package’” because “for commercial organizations, which internet providers are in 100 percent of the cases, economics is more important than anything else.” And given that the old question of “who is guilty?” has been answered, the one before them is “what is to be done?”

            The facts of the case are that this new law is going to cost these companies money, and to defend against that, they “must organize will all people interested in the cancellation of the law, including associations and NGOs, colleagues, partners and competitors. And political parties.” In short, “with all whose interests coincide and are categorically against this law.”

            Given that elections are approaching, it is important to make the distinction between United Russia and Just Russia whose deputies supported the law, on the one hand, and the LDPR and KPRF whose deputies voted against it, on the other.  Those who want the law abolished should vote their convictions.

            Some activists have proposed organizing an association under the “code” title, “We are Against the Package,” Klimaryov says; but that is too narrow and over the long term, it will not be “very effective.” Instead, those opposed need to consider the broader issues of how they can evade the law until it is repeald.  And they need to recognize its opponents are all “in one boat.

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