(QHA) -

Russia’s parliament passed a bill on Friday requiring Internet companies, such as Facebook, Twitter and Gmail to store Russians’ personal data inside the country. The US resources, will be penalized if they refuse to comply with Russian law.

Introducing the bill to parliament this week, MP Vadim Dengin said “most Russians don’t want their data to leave Russia for the United States, where it can be hacked and given to criminals.”

“Our entire lives are stored over there,” he said, adding that companies should build data centres in Russia.

The bill would increase pressure on social networking services which do not have offices in Russia and have become a vital resource for anti-government groups.

Both Facebook and Twitter refuse to hand over user data to governments.

If passed, the rules will not take effect until September 2016 but will provide the government with grounds to block sites that do not comply.