Today Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the controversial “anti-terrorist” legislation adopted by the lower and upper houses of parliament in late June, despite the flurry of criticism from opposition-minded circles and the serious concerns expressed by Russian telecom and internet companies.
As reported earlier by East-West Digital News, the new legislation — which Edward Snowden has called “Russia’s new Big Brother law” — is not only severe against those involved in “international terrorism,” its financing, and its non-denunciation. Law enforcement agencies will also be granted access to any user’s messages without any judicial oversight.
Several key provisions will directly affect the internet and telecom industry. In particular, telecom operators and internet resources will need to store the recordings of all phone calls and the content of all text messages for a period of six months. They will be required to cooperate with the Federal Security Service (FSB) to make their users’ communications fully accessible to this organization.
President press secretary Dmitry Peskov indicated that Putin “ordered the government to follow very closely [the implementation of the new legislation] in order to minimize the possible risks related to implementation costs, to the use of domestic information storage equipment, or other risks.”
This post first appeared on East-West Digital News, an international resource about innovation in Eastern Europe.