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Yarovaya law obliges operators and Internet companies to store user correspondence

Details of the requirements for Internet companies became known only a few days ago, and it is unclear whether they had time to prepare

MOSCOW, July 1. /TASS/. Most of the requirements of the so-called Yarovaya package of laws for preserving user correspondence comes into force on July 1, 2018.

Telecom operators, which from July 1 must keep voice messages and messages of users for 30 days, received a postponement until October 1 for the most significant part - storing "heavy" Internet traffic. Details of the requirements for Internet companies became known only a few days ago, and it is unclear whether they had time to prepare.

Adopted in the summer of 2016, the package of anti-terrorist amendments to the laws proposed by State Duma deputy Irina Yarovaya and Senator Viktor Ozerov became one of the main issues on the agenda of the entire telecom industry in the last two years. Under conditions of uncertainty, companies and experts tried to estimate the cost of execution of Yarovaya package of laws - initially estimated trillions of rubles were gradually replaced by hundreds of billions, then stopped at tens of billions of rubles for five years.

Although not all requirements are still clear, almost all major telecom operators announced their forecasts for expenses for five years - 35-40 bln rubles ($557.2 mln - $636.84 mln) for Megafon, 60 bln rubles ($955.26 mln) for MTS, VimpelCom estimated the costs at 45 bln rubles ($716.44 mln), while Tele2 announced tens of billions of rubles in the next two to three years. At the same time, telephony provider Rostelecom has not yet included these costs in its budget.

Details on the storage of user correspondence under the law regarding Internet companies emerged only a few days ago - a government decree was published on June 28. Hopes for softening requirements were not justified - the government has established the maximum possible period of storage of data under the law - six months. During this time, Internet companies must store text messages, voice information, images, sounds, video and other electronic messages of users.

Not all Internet companies fall under the requirements of the law, but only those that are included in the register of information disseminators on the Internet (the registry is maintained by Internet watchdog Roskomnadzor).

The register includes resources belonging to Group - mail service, its two social networks, messenger Agent, and its cloud storage. In addition, the register includes social network VKontakte, as well as Yandex services Yandex.Mail, and Yandex.Disk.

At the same time, large foreign Internet companies do not currently fall under the law. Thus, American social network Facebook, its messenger WhatsApp, and Instagram are not included in the register. Viber, Twitter, and Microsoft services (including those belonging to Skype corporation) are also not on the list, as well Google services, including Gmail.

The resources that fall under the law did not disclose the exact costs of enforcing the requirements. According to the conclusion of the Ministry of Economic Development for the law from April 3, 2017, the one-time capital expenditures of the Group for the project will amount to $1.2-2 bln. Moreover, there will be additional operating expenses each year - approximately $80 -100 mln, another $35-40 mln will be required within 3-5 years to refine the software that is needed to store user information. In addition, to implement the regulation, an additional 4,500 racks in data centers will be required, the minimum construction period for a data center of the appropriate scale reaches 3-4 years.

Like communication operators, within the framework of the law, Internet companies must also provide the law enforcement agencies with user correspondence. The resolution for Internet services defines the following categories of users: those who have registered or authorized using the network addresses used in the territory of the Russian Federation, as well as those who indicated Russian passport or telephone number during the registration. Rules for storing user correspondence also apply to users whose device transmits location data in Russia or those, whose location in Russia was reported by special services.