In Moscow and in cities around Russia, thousands protested against a proposed new law they say results in greater censorship and will threaten internet freedom.
Activists reported police had detained 15 people at the demonstration in Moscow. Protests were reported in Moscow, Voronezh Khabarovsk and St. Petersburg.
Last month, legislators backed new internet controls they say are necessary to prevent foreign governments from intruding in on Russian affairs. Opponents of the legislation say it is meant to stifle dissent.
The government says the new bill is important for protecting the country. The bill seeks to route all Russian web traffic through points controlled by the state and proposes the creation of a national Domain Name System to allow the internet to continue operating even if the country is cut off from global infrastructure.
In recent years, Russia has introduced new internet laws, including requirements for search engines to delete some results, messaging services to share encryption keys and social networks to store Russian users’ data on servers inside the country.