Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law aimed at expanding government control over the Internet as Sovereign Internet law.
Critics have warned that the new law, signed by Putin on May 1 and posted on the Kremlin website, will lead to censorship of large portions of the Internet.
Among other things, the new procedure requires Internet providers to install routers to route Russian Internet traffic across servers in the country.
Internet advocates said it would allow for greater surveillance by Russian intelligence agencies and the ability of state authorities to control information of Sovereign Internet law.
However, the Kremlin and its allies in parliament defended the legislation as a defensive step if the United States cut off Russia from the global Internet.
While the Russian Internet has faced limitations in the past, it has been heavily tilted towards greater domestic censorship in recent years. Activists fear that the independent Russian Internet will include the establishment of a Chinese-style national firewall to monitor and control content that passes through the country and abroad as Sovereign Internet law.
The new law comes after Russian legislators introduced a package of legislation in March aimed at curtailing Internet freedom, allowing authorities to imprison individuals for those who insult government officials over the Internet or publish false news.
Local technologies have also been under pressure in Russia. Last year, the application of Telegram encrypted messages in the country was banned, and an intense ban was launched against it when users tried to bypass the restrictions as Sovereign Internet law.