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Deputy PM: Data storage under new anti-terror laws won’t be expensive for mobile operators

Data storage in compliance with the Yarovaya laws won’t be expensive for Russian mobile operators, according to Deputy Prime Minister Dvorkovich

MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. Data storage in compliance with the Yarovaya laws won’t be expensive for Russian mobile operators, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Thursday.

When talking to the students of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Dvorkovich said that the law that comes into effect on July 1 will envisage minimum requirements for telecom operators at the first stage and all new requirements will be introduced gradually.

"The Yarovoya law is really complex, but we have found a reasonable balanced solution. It implies that at the first stage, from July 1, additional requirements for data storage will be minimum. They are not very expensive, within reasonable limits and feasible," he said talking about the storage of audio records of conversations and sms messages from July 1.

According to Dvorkovich, storing the complete data (not only voice and text messages, but also data traffic) requires larger infrastructure. "These requirements will be introduced very gradually, as soon as they are ready," Dvorkovich said.

Earlier, Minister of Communications Nikolai Nikiforov said that the requirements for storing audio tapes of conversations will likely come into effect from July 1, and operators will be obliged to store data-traffic from October 1.

Dvorkovich also stressed that storing large volumes of data in compliance with the Yarovaya package of laws requires a lot of equipment.

"To store such data sets, we need a very large amount of equipment, especially storage, we do not produce them in Russia ... it is simply impossible to buy such a quantity of equipment at once. Of course it would be better to make sure that these requirements are introduced when we are able to produce at least some of this equipment. We are now trying to adjust these schedules," he said.

It is even more difficult to learn how to process all the stored data, the Deputy Prime Minister noted.

Yarovaya package of laws

The so-called Yarovaya anti-terror laws initiated by State Duma (lower house of the Russian aprliament) member Irina Yarovaya and Federation Council (upper house) member Viktor Ozerov, obliges communications operators from July 1, 2018 to store data on the receipt, transmission, delivery and processing of voice information and text messages, images, audio and video materials for three years. Operators are obliged to keep "the heaviest" content - images, audio and video data - for six months. They will also be required to supply this information at the request of the special services.

The "Yarovaya package" arouses serious concerns of national telecom operators because it obliges them to store not only data about the transfer of messages, but also their content.

Market participants and experts say that Russia does not have enough facilities to store such volumes of data, and it will require enormous costs to create them, which ultimately leads to a rise in the cost of communication services.

The Ministry of Communications proposed to reduce the period of data storage to 1 month and to increase the volume of stored data gradually - within 5 years. According to the ministry, with such a storage period, the costs of the largest telecoms operators will amount to several tens of billions of rubles.