New Russian internet law stokes censorship fears

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a measure that critics say expands government control over the internet and will lead to widespread censorship.

MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a measure expands government control over the internet and which critics say will lead to widespread censorship.

The law, signed Wednesday, requires internet providers to install equipment to route Russian internet traffic through servers in the country. Proponents said it is a defense measure in case the United States or other hostile powers cut off the internet for Russia.

Critics say that would increase the power of state agencies to control information. Users, they add, would find it harder to circumvent government restrictions, and the quality of the connection may suffer.