This week, Russian authorities revealed the cost of the “Yarovaya Law” implementation; Kyrgyzstan launched a “Smart State” project; Belarus introduced the digital ID-card; Russia is developing new bills on social media and mobile phones; Azerbaijan to enhance the use of ICT in business; Russia to legalize crypto-currencies in 2018; Azerbaijan develops a safe Internet for children.

1. The Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Ministry of Communications estimated that the cost of the Yarovaya Law implementation to communication operators will amount to USD $79.5 billion, which is three times more than the turnover of the entire Russian telecommunications industry in 2016.

DR comments: According to the “Yarovaya Law”, by 1 July 2018, all telecommunication companies and Internet Service Providers would be required to retain user communications for six months and communications metadata for three years.

Next week, DR Analytica will release a special review “The Yarovaya Law: One Year After” covering the legislation and its outcomes for the telecom industry and citizens in the Russian Federation

2. As part of the 2040 National Sustainable Development Strategy, the high-tech project “Taza Coom” aims to provide citizens with more efficient public services and contribute to the creation of favorable business conditions. Its implementation is expected to lead to increased transparency in the public administration system and act as a powerful tool for countering and preventing corruption.

3. The government designed a digital ID card to replace an old ID by 2019. The new ID is developed within the framework of the “Set of measures for the introduction of biometric documents in the Republic of Belarus and the creation of the Belarusian integrated service accounting system”. Using this digital ID card citizens would be able to get a comprehensive access to governmental services.

4. A bill that would prohibit mobile operators from selling SIM cards through intermediaries is being developed in Russia. It is expected that the bill will be submitted to the State Duma in May.

Another bill would require users to register in the social media with real names is going to be introduced. The bill also proposes a ban on the use of social media for political agitation and advertising occultism and more stringent regulation of using social media in a workplace.

DR comments: This bill follows the restriction on Internet usage by teenagers under 14 that we reported on previously.

5. The Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies will create a working group whose task will be to study possibilities of a wider use of ICT in business.

Meanwhile, the Copyright Agency will create a national register for all digital versions of original works as part of launching the Internet Copyright Protection system.

6. The Ministry is considering the possibility of legalizing operations with bitcoins and other crypto-currencies starting from 2018. Deputy Finance Minister, Alexei Moiseev, believes that by adopting this approach the Ministry will be able to effectively combat illegal money transfers, as well as money laundering.

DR comments: Russia could become the first state in the world to regulate bitcoins.

7. The Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, with the assistance of other state structures and private organizations, develops an online platform to protect children from the dangerous content on the web.

DR Comments: Previously, we informed about measures taken in Moldova and Russia to protect children from the spread of suicidal groups online.