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Federal Law introducing administrative liability for knowingly distributing false information of social importance

March 18, 2019

Vladimir Putin signed Federal Law On Amendments to the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offences.

The Federal Law introduces administrative liability for knowingly distributing, under the guise of reliable news, of unreliable, socially important information that creates a threat to public safety and/or health, property, the threat of mass disturbance of public order and/or public security or the threat of interference with, or termination of the functioning of facilities for life support, transport or social infrastructure, lending institutions, energy facilities, industry and communications, unless these actions by a person distributing the information, qualify as a criminal offence.

The law stipulates that such administrative offences fall under the jurisdiction of judges, and the right to draw up administrative offence reports is vested in officials of internal affairs bodies (police).

The Federal Law comes into effect the day it is officially published. Administrative liability, as stipulated by the Federal Law, does not apply to unreliable information of social importance that has been knowingly distributed as credible through the media or ICT networks before the law came into effect.

March 18, 2019