This week: 

  1. New ICT security initiatives were announced in Central Asian states;
  2. Russia develops a mechanism to reduce the dependence on foreign ICT;
  3. Kyrgyzstan is going to introduce the Mobile Number Portability service;
  4. Uzbekistan reduced the tariffs for local providers;
  5. Russia bans materials on suicide;
  6. Azerbaijan to modernize the ICT infrastructure;
  7. Russia to send the conscription notices via e-mail.

1. Eurasian Authorities Increase National Security through ICTs.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan plans to prohibit the use of SIM cards by persons other than subscribers themselves. A corresponding bill was submitted to the parliament.

Uzbekistan will monitor user data in public Wi-Fi networks, according to the new draft law “On the introduction of amendments to some legislative acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, which was introduced for public discussion. The proposals are aimed at assisting the law enforcement agencies in conducting operational search activities.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kazakhstan will create a biometric identification system for citizens. The development will be carried out under the requirements of the law “On Fingerprinting and Genomic Registration”. The authorities plan to complete the project by 2021.

The Parliament of Kyrgyzstan will introduce a law on online news websites.  A site that has 500 unique visitors per day or a thousand unique users per month will be classified as a news site.

DR comments: These separate developments fall in line with the trends we identified in the 2016 ICT Index:  increasing national security in Eurasia and state controls over ICTs.

2. Russia Stimulates the Use of National Software.

The Ministry of Communications is considering a proposal according to which state companies would pay a fee in the amount of 5% of the acquired foreign software value. The received funds would be earmarked for the Information Technology Development Fund (FRIT).

DR comments: This legislation stems from the new doctrine on Information Security adopted in December 2016. One of the central goals of the doctrine is the reduction of Russian dependence on foreign ICT.

3. Kyrgyzstan Adopted the Law on Mobile Number Portability.

The State committee on IT and communications announced the introduction of the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service on April 1, 2018. Corresponding amendments to the law “On Electronic and Postal Communications” were adopted by the Parliament in the third reading on March 30, 2017.

DR comments: The implementation of the MNP is one of the recommendations of the International Telecommunication Union.

4. The Cost of Uzbek Internet Tariff Plans Remains Among the Highest in the World.

Uztelecom, which is the only Tier 1 Internet provider and owner of the main telecom infrastructure in Uzbekistan, has reduced the tariff for Internet traffic for local ISPs from $115.26 in 2016 to $ 76.61 for 1 Mb / s now. However, the cost of tariff plans for individual customers will remain the same as before.

5. New Steps Against Online Suicide Propaganda in Russia.

A bill that forbids the mass media to publish materials on suicides and ways to commit it was introduced in the State Duma. The step is taken as part of the fight against suicide groups proliferating online, which is a hot issue in the region. A bill is aimed at children protection and reduction of the suicide rate among teenagers.

At the same time, Kazakh authorities plan to protect children by introducing the safe Internet plans, developed in line with a bill aimed at safeguarding children from information that is harmful to their health and development.

DR comments: Earlier, we announced other measures against the suicide groups adopted in Russia.

6. Azerbaijan is to Significantly Modernize the ICT.

Aztelekom announced its ambitious plans for modernizing the ICT sector. Among those plans are a comprehensive upgrade of infrastructure elements, reduction of the tariffs for customers, as well as the introduction of new technologies.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and High Technologies plans to establish the IT investors community to promote the national ICT sector.

7. Russian Army Will Send Conscription Notes by E-mail.

A bill that would enable recruiting offices to send the notifications of conscription by e-mail was introduced in the State Duma. The legislators stated that the implementation of this bill would reduce the number of citizens evading military service and facilitate bringing to justice of those who claim they have never received such a notice via snail mail.