On the 4th of July (!), the lower house of the Russian parliament (the State Duma), approved by 325 votes against 65 a bill obliging foreign Internet companies to store Russian citizens’ personal data on servers within the Russian Federation.
1. When will this new law come into action?
The law, signed the 22th of July also by the President Vladimir Putin and still awaiting the approval of the upper house, the Federation Council would come into force Sept. 1, 2016 giving both foreign and domestic internet companies enough time to create data-storage facilities in Russia.
2. To whom will this law apply to?
The law will apply to social networking, messaging services (e-mail), foreign search engines (e.g. Google) and any company that stores data from (or about) a Russian citizen (online booking, social networks, procurement Services, consulates of foreign embassies, VPN). They will be required to “ensure registration, systematization, accumulation, storage, updating and retrieval of personal data” of Russian citizens via a server built and approved by the government. So, in order to continue to operate in Russia, they will be required to transfer some of their servers within the country.
3. What are the consequences in case of non-compliance?
In case of non-compliance with the Russian legislation, the Roskomnadzor will be able to put the companies on a blacklist and will have the right to limit access towards them.
4. What are the reasons behind this law?
Among the official arguments to support this legislation, Vadim Dengin of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), one of the deputies who introduced the bill to the parliament, believes the new law is in accordance with the current European policy on online personal data protection. Dengin said that “All of the [internet] companies, including the foreign ones, are welcome to store that information, but please create data centers in Russia so that it can be controlled by Roskomnadzor (the Federal Communications Supervisory Service) and there would be a guarantee from the state that [the data] isn’t going anywhere.” “In this way foreign states possess full information, correspondence, photographs of not only our individuals, but companies as well (Itar-Tass). “
Since social media was used by the propagandists to oppose to Vladimir Putins’ return to the Kremlin in 2012, the number of restrictions placed on the Internet and attacks to any unfavorable media is becoming more and more intimidating. 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.
By forcing multinational companies to store data on servers build on his territory, the Russian government wants easy access to all the data concerning its citizens. This measure would benefit popular Russian competitors like Mail.ru (a Gmail rival), Yandex (search engine rival to Google), and VKontakte (a Facebook rival) — among others.
Mariana OPRIS
Etudiante en Master 2 Droit de l’Economie Numérique à l’Université de Strasbourg.
logo Twitter couleur    LinkedIn couleur

A propos de Mariana Opris