Russia Introduces Bill to Keep Citizens' Data Within the Country
July 3, 2014 2:34 PM
Any services that don't comply could be banned
Tech giants like Google and Facebook could have to pay to place physical servers inside Russia if a new bill were to take effect. According to
, the Russian State Duma passed the first bill last night requiring that personal data of all Russians be stored inside the country.
This means that U.S. tech companies would have to pay big bucks to implement the changes needed to comply. Furthermore, these companies would not be allowed to send data outside of Russia unless they can guarantee data storage inside the country.
“When collecting personal data, including through information and the internet telecommunications network, the operator is required to provide a record that the systematization, accumulation, storage, updating and retrieval of personal data of citizens of the Russian Federation, is held on databases located in the territory of the Russian Federation,” says the bill.
The bill -- which could go into effect by September 2016 -- would ban any applications that don't comply by way of restricting carriers from providing access to such services.
A few reasons for Russia's new bill may be to fight off piracy, strengthen national security or put a tighter rein on free speech in the country.
There's also the question of data spying, which has become a hot topic since former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor
blew the cover on the NSA's surveillance programs early last year. These programs consisted of bulk data collection from sources like phone records, where the government took on a "collect now, filter later" approach.
Many top tech leaders, like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, have spoken out against the NSA's programs along with civil-liberties advocates, U.S. citizens and even other countries that had the NSA peeping in their window.
In February of this year, German newspaper
Bild am Sonntag
said that the NSA was
on about 320 politicians and business leaders in Germany, including Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, a close confidant of Chancellor Angela Merkel. This was after German magazine Der Spiegel reported in October 2013 that the U.S. had tapped Chancellor Merkel's phone for years, and spied on 34 other world leaders as well. This led one German politician to call for a complete halt on trade negotiations between the European Union and the U.S.
In January 2014, Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith said he felt that customers outside of the U.S. would likely feel more at ease with not only having their
data stored in a non-U.S. facilities
, but also choosing the exact location of their data centers.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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