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Some Russian MPs Wish to Fast Track New Personal Storage Law

The Russia State Duma passed a bill a couple of months ago that will require all the personal data of their citizens to be stored on servers within the country. The bill was approved by 325 voters against 65.

The bill means that international services like Facebook and YouTube would need to have a presence within the country. If they don’t, they won’t be allowed to operate. Additionally, non-Russian companies wouldn’t be allowed to send data out of the country unless they can provide guarantees on how the data is stored within the country.

Although most companies didn’t pass comment on the bill, it’s not hard to imagine their reaction. This is a move that will require businesses to outlay costs in order to set up infrastructure in Russia if they don’t already have a presence there. Some companies may just decide that it isn’t worth it or viable to continue operations within the country.

Russian companies are also affected as they will need to invest in Russian hosting companies. If their data is stored internationally then they’ll incur costs in the move to bring it all over back into the country.

Originally the law had over two years until it went until place, beginning on September 1, 2016. This gave companies enough time to prepare themselves for the change. However, a number of MPs now want to bring the enforcement in much quicker.

RT reports that lawmakers from parliamentary majority party United Russia, nationalist party LDPR and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation all support the idea that the bill must be introduced by January 1, 2015.

In an interview with Izvestia, Russian MP Evgeny Fyodorov said that Russia needs to implement this law quickly in order to secure the country against outside political influences.

“The internet is a direct tool of the orange intervention and we all know that such intervention is followed by mass killings of tens of thousands of people,” he said. “Internet campaigns are usually the first stage of the process and they are done through sanctions and through manipulations with foreign-based data centres. They censor and revise all events that take place in Russia. All information that is stored there can be used against Russia. Therefore, we must take these sites under national control in order to protect our country.”

MP Vadim Dengin also spoke on the issue, saying that the internet has always been for free discussion, “but it needs some rules” and that to do this certain things online need to be put “in order”. It’s a statement that appears quite contradictory, since a free discussion by nature shouldn’t need rules.

Those who sponsor the bill claim that it falls in line with European policy to protect online data, but currently no other country is looking to impose such strict rules.

It’s currently not confirmed that the bill will move up to a January imposing date. If it does then it’ll certainly drastically reduce the amount of time that companies have to comply with the regulations. As it stands, the bill is still set to come in on September 2016.

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