Russia Plans To Ban Online Services That Store Personal Data Outside The Country
The Russian State Duma passed the first bill this week requiring that the personal data of all Russians should be stored inside the country.
Almost every international service used by Russians would be affected if the bill is going to go through. Basically, it would mean that Google, Facebook, Skype, PayPal or just about all of other international online services used by people in Russia would require to have physical servers in Russia.
Moreover, companies that are not registered in Russia would not be able to send data outside the country without providing genuine proof that their data is stored inside the country. If a company will not comply the state telecommunications agency Roskomnadzor is going to demand carriers to prohibit access to those services. Personal information and data protection laws are also up for some corrections written in the bill.
If this new law is going to be carried out fully it would start to take effect on September 2016. It would bring significant changes as to how Russian and international tech companies use hosting services on a global level, also implementing the changes would require enormous funding.
This new plan to store data in Russia is a part of an extensive move by the government trying to increase the surveillance of the Internet usage. Although, some of the moves were made as a way to fight piracy one of the examples would be the ability to block sites requested by the rightsholders.
This might be related with national security as well. Probably most of you know that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is residing in Russia at the moment. His revelations have greatly increased the awareness of how government agencies spy on average Internet users without them knowing, what started questions about other countries involvement in such acts.
It is hard to tell what are the real reasons behind this new legislation as Russian government has been acquiring a reputation for tightening the rights of free speech in the country.
A lot of countries permit personal data to be stored on servers residing at U.S. via the so called ‘safe harbor‘ agreements, letting the European companies to operate at ease in U.S. and the other way around.
The bill is supposed to take effect on September 2016, thus online companies have a bit more than two years to prepare to meet the requirements.
Do not wait so long and prepare beforehand by starting to use VPN to increase your online privacy and bypass all the unwanted spying.