18 Dec 2017 17:22

FSB, Communications Ministry, operators close to decision on Yarovaya laws - Nikiforov

GORKI. Dec 18 (Interfax) - Compromises on implementation of the so-called Yarovaya laws will be found in the nearest future, Communications and Mass Media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov said.

"I can say that the sides - I have in mind the security bodies, our ministry and the communications operators themselves - are very close to committing to paper a certain model of a solution and this is taking place in the realm of the government apparatus," Nikiforov told journalists.

As reported, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) prepared and forwarded to the government its conclusion concerning implementation of the Yarovaya laws, which calls for storing all voice and SMS traffic for six months and all internet traffic on communications networks for three days. The RSPP warned that the most stringent option for implementation of the law was fraught with unbearable costs for the operators.

"This dialog is underway. This letter is of course being carefully studied. I think our colleagues at the FSB [Federal Security Service] will hear these arguments," Nikiforov said.

The first easing of the demands on operators concerning traffic storage were announced by the Communications Ministry at the beginning of 2017: it reached agreement with the Industry and Trade Ministry and the armed services to reduce by 90% the volume of traffic that must be stored by deleting superfluous information.

In 2017, together with a discussion of easing the requirements for operations, the sector's estimate of data storage costs also declined. The Communications Ministry's initial estimate was 5 trillion rubles. That figure was later reduced to 100 billion rubles. In the fall of 2017, Nikiforov was already speaking of "several dozen billion rubles" in one-off costs of the biggest operators given a storage duration of about one month. Later, mobile operator MegaFon said it estimated the cost to implement the law at 35 billion-40 billion rubles over five years (compared with its initial estimate of 938 billion rubles). Other operators did not provide revised estimates.