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Russian lawmakers backed tighter Internet controls on Thursday to defend against foreign meddling, in a preliminary vote on draft legislation that critics say could disrupt Russia's Internet and be used to stifle dissent.Shrugging off an outcry from opposition politicians and rights activists, the 450-seat lower chamber of Parliament voted in a second reading to pass a largely unchanged version of the bill that aims to beef up Russia's Internet "sovereignty". The legislation aims to route Russian web traffic and data through points controlled by state authorities and to build a national Domain Name System to allow the Internet to continue working even if Russia is cut off from foreign infrastructure.
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