This week, Moldova seeks to tighten internet control; Ukraine called Russia a cyber threat; Kyrgyz General Prosecutor said criticizing the president online isn’t a crime; Russia to regulate robotics industry; experts said ‘Yarovaya laws’ would be hard to implement for technical reasons; Georgia proposes a new e-surveillance agency; Belarus to launch an e-procurement system. 

1. Parliament of Moldova considers the draft law on tightening internet control through website blocking and collection of citizens’ personal data. The lawmakers proposed to allow the law enforcement agencies to block illegal websites, such as those containing propaganda of terrorism, hate speech or child pornography, without the court order. It would also oblige telecom operators to provide information about IP addresses of clients upon the law enforcement agencies request.

2. Russia wants to become the first country in the world that regulates robot building. The State Duma will draft the law on robot building with the help of tech companies, and create a Council for providing legislative support to the development of Russian digital economy. “This industry is at its beginning stage of development, and if we don’t miss the moment we can become an attractive country for investment in this industry,” said Mail.Ru Group co-founder  Dmitry Grishin.

3. The expert group led by Mikhail Abyzov, the minister for open government in Russia, gave its verdict regarding the data stored by telecom operators in accordance with ‘Yarovaya laws’. The assessment results showed that data stored for six months will be hard to decrypt due to its massive volume, and thus can’t be used by law enforcement agencies. At the same time, the technology to decrypt large amounts of encrypted data in networks hasn’t been created yet, which may hinder the implementation of these laws.

4. Adviser to the interior minister of Ukraine, Zoryan Shkiryak, thinks that Odnoklassniki and Vkontakte social networking websites must be blocked in Ukraine. He believes Russia-based services are controlled by Russian special services that use them for anti-Ukrainian propaganda.

In addition, Ukraine accused Russian hackers of targeting its power grid, financial system, and other infrastructure with thousands of attacks with a new type of virus. Oleksandr Tkachuk, Ukraine’s Security Service chief, said that the attacks were orchestrated by the Russian security service with help from criminal hackers. The attacks looked like they were designed by the same people who created malware known as “BlackEnergy” which knocked out Kyiv’s power grid in the past.

5. Georgian parliament held the first hearing of draft law on electronic communication. The ruling party proposed to create a special state agency responsible for surveillance and wiretapping that would be an independent public entity administered by the State Security Service. The opposition, non-governmental organizations, and the president remained dissatisfied with the initiative. They believe it will be controlled by the special services and won’t be truly independent.

6. Belarus launches a new electronic procurement system by the end of 2017. The goal is to increase the transparency of state budget spendings and fight corruption. The public procurement process will be fully moved online, from publishing yearly plans in advance to signing contracts. However, some businessmen remain sceptical about the innovation. They think that electronic system won’t eliminate corruption schemes and will only make the procedure more complex, creating more opportunities for corruption.

7.  General Prosecutor’s Office didn’t recognize criticism against President Atambayev on social media as an illegal act. In January, the security services investigated 45 Facebook users for openly criticizing the president at the request of the member of Kyrgyz parliament, Irina Karamushkina. Independent lawyers filed a complaint to the General Prosecutor’s Office regarding the incident.