Russia will reportedly ban devices without preinstalled Russian software

The law comes into force next July, the BBC reported.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin's government reportedly passed a law that'll require devices sold in the country to have Russian software preinstalled.

Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Image

Russia has reportedly passed a law banning the sale of phones, computers and smart TVs without Russian software preinstalled. It'll come into force in July 2020, according to the BBC. Legislation was apparently passed by the country's lower house of parliament on Thursday, but the list of impacted devices and software has yet to be determined. 

It won't mean devices from outside Russia will have their usual preinstalled software banned, but the Russian software will have to be preinstalled as well. Supporters said the legislation is focused on promoting the country's tech, the BBC noted.

Critics suggested that the Russian software could be used as a method of surveillance and that the requirements might drive companies out of Russia.

Western tech companies have been subject to Russian pressure in recent months -- for instance, the government asked Google not to promote "illegal mass events" on YouTube after protesters demanded free elections on Moscow's streets in August. Apple, meanwhile, has been hit with antitrust allegations.

The Kremlin's press office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

First published at 4:46 a.m. PT.
Updated at 5:23 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.

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