1 Mar 2023 17:50

Russian govt prohibits several organizations from transferring payment info via foreign instant messaging services - communications watchdog

MOSCOW. March 1 (Interfax) - The Russian government as of March 1 has prohibited a number of domestic companies from transferring payment information via nine foreign instant messaging services, including Telegram, WhatsApp, and Viber, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, IT, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) said in a statement.

According to Roskomnadzor, the corresponding article and clauses of the law "On Information, Information Technologies and Information Security" enter into force as of March 1, 2023. The law prohibits a number of Russian organizations from using foreign instant messaging services.

Roskomnadzor has specified that as of March 1, 2023, these instant messaging services could include Discord, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Snapchat, Telegram, Threema, Viber, WhatsApp, and WeChat.

"We request that Russian organizations take into account the new circumstances when planning their activities," Roskomnadzor said in the statement.

President Vladimir Putin on December 29, 2022, signed a law prohibiting banks and non-credit financial institutions from using foreign instant messaging services in order to transfer certain information to customers. Roskomnadzor will prepare and post the list of instant messaging services on its website.

As of March 1, 2023, banks and non-credit financial institutions - including professional participants in the securities market, management companies, investment funds, non-state pension funds, depositories, and others - are prohibited from using foreign instant messaging services when transferring payment documents; presenting information containing the personal data of citizens of the Russian Federation; transferring data on remittances of funds as part of cashless payments; and transferring information necessary for rendering payments, or information regarding bank deposit accounts of citizens of the Russian Federation.

Moreover, the government ban applies to transferring information through foreign instant messaging services when rendering government and municipal services, and when performing government or municipal tasks.