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Law News

Russia: communicators are not anonymous

The new law on internet communicators is already officially in force in Russia. Its purpose is to enable effective identification of users of instant messengers.

New regulations as of 05.05.2019

The legislation entered into force on 5 May 2019, 180 days after its adoption and publication in November 2018. Under the new law, messenger administrators have to verify with telecoms operators the telephone number by which a user registers. Messenger administrators send number enquiries to operators and operators have 20 minutes to confirm the identity of the user. If it turns out that a number is not in the operator’s database or the operator does not reply, the controller will not register the user and should refuse to use the service.

Individual code for each user

After registration, each user receives an individual identification code in the communicator. Administrators of instant messengers transfer data about users and used instant messengers to the operator who enters them into their database.

The regulations mean additional obligations for operators – they will have to process millions of queries. On the other hand, communicators compete with mobile phones because users prefer to write on the Internet rather than call or send SMS. For this reason, the new law can be beneficial for traditional operators. According to TASS, mobile operators are technically prepared to meet the conditions of the regulation. Communicator operators, according to the agency, “do not comment and do not express interest in cooperation”.

Security requires further regulations

This is another regulation on the Russian market which aims at safety and control. Since last year, regulations have been in force which require the processing of data on Russian citizens only on servers located in the Russian Federation. A year earlier, regulations came into force that banned the use of VPN networks.

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