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Russian telecoms could avoid storing messengers’ traffic

Staff Writer |
Russian telecom operators can circumvent the laws obliging them to store costly traffic of messengers and video services.

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This is according to a bill drafted by the Media-Communications Union and seen by PRIME. The bill is aimed at improving regulation of over-the-top (OTT) services and offers to exclude information stored by organizers of instant messages and audio and video services from the laws on data retention.

The much-criticized laws on data retention force operators to keep records on the country’s territory for up to six months, including text messages, calls and exchanged data, starting from July 1, 2018.

The bill also seeks to limit interests of foreign business and individuals in the capital of domestic audio and video services by 20%, like the existing restriction for ownership of mass media.

The union suggests adding video services with a monthly domestic audience of more than 100,000 people to a special register, to be monitored by the communications service. The service could be delisted if its popularity declines.

The bill wants to introduce a compulsory identification of messengers’ users and oblige services to send out notifications on the initiative of state entities.

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