(Salon) Russian President Vladimir Putin is clamping down on Internet criticism with a new law requiring Internet companies to store Russian user information on data centers in Russia. Putin signed the law on Tuesday of this week, an action that could “could chill criticism on foreign social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter,” according to Agence France-Presse.

These Internet companies do not currently have offices in Russia, and do not have to hand over user data to the Russian government. This, according to Agence France-Presse, makes international social networking sites an important resource for Russian opposition.

The law, which requires that companies build data centers in Russia or else be blocked, could dampen opposing views. This requirement would subject both Russian and international Internet companies to Russian law.

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