Russia cracks down on internet freedom

November 8, 2018

Photo: AFP

The Russian government wants identification details of the country’s residents from telecom providers.

The orders have been sent by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and will be put in effect in the next six months.

Users will be required to verify their registration for every messaging service they sign up for through their mobile operator.

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Mobile operators will be responsible for recording user information. Customers switching their mobile service will be required to register again. The aim is to fight anonymity in messaging services. Officials believe it is a necessary step to create a safe environment for citizens.

The new requirement will be limiting internet freedom in Russia. Previously, Russians came up with a law requiring telecom providers to retain user information. The move raised cost for telecom operators in the country to $550 million.

The authorities can ask encrypted messaging services for private chat data of users when it wants as well.