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07 August 2018
On 1 July 2018 new data storage rules took effect for online data distributors (organisers) in Russia. The new rules were approved for application by Government Resolution 728 of 26 June 2018.
The new data storage rules form an integral part of the ongoing reform of the legislation on the national governance of:
The government launched this reform through the enactment of amendments to:
This package of laws is called the 'Yarovaya Law' after Irina Yarovaya, a principal author of the laws and the leader of the underlying reform. Yarovaya was a member of the State Duma (the lower chamber of Parliament) and became head of the Parliamentary Committee for Security and Anti-corruption in 2011.
In brief, the Yarovaya Law's key legal provisions include:
According to the modified Article 10.1(3) of the Federal Law on Information, Information Technologies and Data Protection of 27 July 2006 (149-FZ), which was implemented by the Yarovaya Law, online data distributors must generally store the following data in Russia:
The general obligations on data storage also include an obligation to provide the national law enforcement authorities, such as the Federal Security Service, with copies of the above information on request (Article 10.1(3.1) of the Federal Law on Information, Information Technologies and Data Protection).
In addition, online data distributors must provide the national security services (on request) with any information necessary for decoding received, transmitted, delivered or processed electronic messages (ie, decoding keys) where additional coding technologies (eg, encryption) are used or provided to the respective internet users (Article 10.1(4.1) of the Federal Law on Information, Information Technologies and Data Protection).
The resolution sets out specific data storage rules for online data distributors. More specifically, it clarifies the specific obligations, principles, terms and volume of storage for online data distributors with regard to the following e-content of internet users in Russia:
The so-called 'obligation to store in Russia' principle extends to all electronic messages based on the following user criteria prescribed in the resolution:
The resolution states that online data distributors must store electronic messages using their software systems in full and within six months from the completion of their receipt, transmittal, delivery or processing.
Notably, a breach of the above legal provisions may lead to different penalties as established by law. Specifically, under Section 2 of Article 13.31 of the Code of Administrative Offences, the following administrative fines will be imposed on infringing online data distributors:
Both the Yarovaya Law and the new additional data storage requirements have been widely criticised in Russia. Although the abovementioned legal provisions and rules are aimed at fighting terrorism on the Internet and preserving national cybersecurity, their application and implementation will inevitably lead to substantial financial and material investments by messenger and social media platform operators, as well as other online data distributors. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how this legislation will be complied with in practice.
For further information on this topic please contact Sergey Medvedev or Ilya Goryachev at Gorodissky & Partners by telephone (+7 495 937 6116) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Gorodissky & Partners website can be accessed at www.gorodissky.com.
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