Russia applies tough controls in messaging platforms

Telephone operators and companies in the sector should identify users of anonymous chats such as WhatsApp or Viber

Users of anonymous chats of messaging applications such as WhatsApp or Viber should be fully identified by the mobile phone companies. This is established by the new measures of the Russian government, through the law that will take effect in six months.

According to information provided to the press, on Tuesday, November 6th, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree through which mobile telephony operators and companies that own messaging applications must identify their users.

The law also specifies that operators must create a database with the chat apps used by their clients as well as identification codes. Government spokesmen point out that the main objective of the law is to create a secure communication environment.

The control measures will be applied through the state regulator Roskomnadzor. The controls will facilitate the police to investigate crimes and in the case of companies, they should verify that the information provided is correct and authentic in 20 minutes. Otherwise, the user will be blocked.

Activists and non-governmental organizations consider anti-terrorism laws a big problem, since companies are obliged to store users’ communications for up to six months.

M.Pino

Source: El País

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