Russia’s communications minister Nikolai Nikiforov has stated that it would be counter-productive to push back a new law that would oblige operators to store all user-generated data for six months.
Aimed at combating terrorism, the law will come into effect on 1st July 2018, and will require operators to store user calls and messages. However, operators are concerned that it will increase their total spend, with Megafon, MTS, Tele2 and Vimpelcom believing that the law will collectively cost them $37 billion.
This has prompted authorities to suggest postponing the law’s introduction to 2023, but Nikiforov hit back at these proposals, saying: “To simply postpone, delay the coming into force of these norms of the anti-terrorist package to 2023 we think is counterproductive.”
He did acknowledge that it would be impossible to enact the law overnight, and suggested a gradual implementation consisting of several phases conducted over two to five years. “We are looking for a compromise… I think next week we’ll see some kind of an agreed position,” said Nikiforov.
User privacy is a hot-button issue in Russia, with private messaging service Telegram narrowly escaping a ban in the country after it agreed last week to register its details with the government. However, the firm stated in no uncertain terms that it would not share private data in any way.