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Main changes in Russian IT legislation in 2019

Main changes in Russian IT legislation in 2019

8 July 2022

In 2019, Federal Law No. 90-FZ, the so-called law on the “sovereign Internet”, was adopted, which introduced significant changes to the Federal Law “On Communications” and “On Information Technologies and Information Protection”. The Law on the “sovereign Internet” is aimed at creating an infrastructure to ensure the safe and uninterrupted operation of the Internet on the territory of Russia in the event of a disconnection from the global Internet and entered into force on November 1, 2019. This law establishes additional obligations for the owners of technological communication networks, traffic exchange points and communication lines. According to the provisions of the law, in the event of threats to the functioning of the Internet on the territory of the Russian Federation, Roskomnadzor has the right to centrally manage the public telecommunications network by managing the technical means of countering threats pre-installed in their networks by telecom operators, and (or) by transmitting mandatory instructions to telecom operators and to other persons. In addition, the law provides for the creation of a national system of domain names, which included the domains .RU, .РФ, .SU.

In 2019, changes were also made to the rules for regulating Russian software. The most important regulatory act adopted in the field of software was Federal Law No. 425-FZ dated December 2, 2019 on the pre-installation of Russian software. According to this law, the pre-installation of domestic software on certain types of electronic devices becomes mandatory. At the same time, this Federal Law does not explain who is obliged to pre-install software, does not contain a specific list of such electronic devices or their characteristics, and also does not define a list of Russian software that is mandatory for installation. The explanatory note to the law gives the following examples of electronic devices: smart phones, computers and TVs with Smart-TV function. It is expected that the list of devices, the installation procedure, as well as the types of pre-installed software, which may include anti-virus programs, navigators, payment and search systems, and audiovisual services, will be explained in a decree of the Government of the Russian Federation.

It is necessary to single out a number of changes to the requirements for software included in the Unified Register of Russian Programs - for example, in order for software to be recognized as Russian, it must not only belong to Russian entities without predominant foreign participation, but also its warranty service, technical support and modernization should be carried out by Russian entities.

In 2019, there were significant changes regarding the regulation of the production of radio electronic products. In order to support the manufacture of such products in Russia, Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 878 dated July 10, 2019 on the adoption of measures to stimulate the manufacture of these products when implementing state and municipal procurement of goods, works and services was adopted. The list of radio electronic products approved by the aforementioned Decree includes computer, electronic and optical equipment, batteries, accumulators, as well as fiber-optic cables. According to this Decree, the Unified Register of Russian Radio Electronic Products is being created, the basis for inclusion in which is the conclusion of the Ministry of Industry and Trade for both radio electronic products and telecommunications equipment. For the Russian origin to be recognized, telecommunications equipment must meet a wide range of requirements, including:

  • the fact of registration in the Russian Federation as an individual entrepreneur or legal entity; at that, the total share of direct and (or) indirect participation of citizens of the Russian Federation, Russian organizations without predominant foreign participation in the authorized capital of the applicant must exceed 50%;
  • be the developer of the software used in the equipment, or have a license to use it (in this case, the software must be included in the Register of Russian Programs).
  • be the owner of an invention or utility model if they are used as part of equipment.

At the same time, within the framework of state and municipal procurement of radio electronic products, the customer must reject all applications containing proposals for the supply of products with foreign origin, if at least two applications are submitted for participation, which simultaneously contain proposals for the supply of radio electronic products included in this register and do not contain proposals for the supply of the same type of product from one manufacturer or manufacturers belonging to the same group of persons. For all other types of procurement, Decree No. 878 obliges priority to be given to those participants who have offered equipment for procurement from the register.

In 2019, the changes also affected the requirements for data storage systems, namely, adjustments were made to the Rules for the storage of text messages of subscribers, voice information, images, sounds and video messages of users by mobile operators (Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 673 dated May 28, 2019), and a ban was established on the admission of foreign hardware and software DSSs for the procurement of goods for state or municipal needs (Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1746 dated December 21, 2019).

Federal Law No. 405-FZ dated December 2, 2019 amended Article 13.11 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, now according to which telecom operators will be forced to pay large fines (from 1 to 18 million rubles) if they fail to comply with the requirement to “localize” personal data. “Localization” here ensuring, when collecting personal data of the Russian Federation citizens, the implementation of certain methods of their processing using databases located in Russia. In addition, Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 146 was adopted, which approved the rules for organizing and conducting inspections of the activities of personal data operators by Roskomnadzor, including a number of new provisions, such as reducing the time between scheduled inspections from 3 to 2 years for biometric personal data operators transmitting such data on the territory of some countries (including the United States and some CIS countries), as well as for operators processing personal data on behalf of foreign companies that are not registered in Russia.

Source: IT News