This week:

  1. The Yarovaya Law is coming into force;
  2. Uzbekistan announced its plans for 2017;
  3. Belarus: a revolutionary ICT legislation is forthcoming;
  4. Is Russia heading to adopt cryptocurrencies?
  5. Moldova is looking after foreign IT specialists;
  6. Russia is preparing new ICT-related laws;
  7. Moldova to increase safety of the Internet;
  8. Ukrainian authorities are testing the “Safe City” program in Kharkiv.


1. Is Russian market ready to comply with the Yarovaya Law?

The last minute effort to postpone until 2023 the coming into effect of the Yarovaya Law failed. Starting July 1, 2017, all communications operators and Internet providers would be required to collect and store subscriber calls and messages, and related data for three years. Due to lack of specific by-laws, identifying the requirements for equipment and software ISP/telecom providers should use, and very tight implementation deadlines the compliance with the new law is likely to be minimal. In addition, Russian manufacturers of IT equipment and software will not have enough time to prepare and bring their solutions to the market, which poses both financial and security concerns.

DR comments: DR Analytica published a thought-after analysis on Yarovaya Law and its impact on Russian ICT business. As predicted, private business will be carrying the main cost for implementing the Law. Now, we can also add their potential exposure to non-compliance fines should the government decide to single some of them out.

2. Uzbekistan plans in the ICT sector for 2017.

The government of Uzbekistan announced a plan to launch the production of optical fiber cables. The local production capacity of 50 thousand km of cable per year will reduce the estimated costs incurred to purchase those cables abroad to $ 150 million USD by 2021. In addition, the plan calls for a gradual expansion of Internet network in the country and reduction of service prices for customers.

Meanwhile, the government is looking how to improve the process of issuing biometric passports and exit visas through an “electronic queue system” throughout the country and automation of the issuance process.

DR comments: The cost of Uzbek Internet tariff plans remains among the highest in the world. Earlier we announced that Uzbekistan redistributed radio frequencies to support the introduction of 4G based on LTE technology and increase competition among national mobile providers.

3. Will Belarus turn into a real Mecca for IT companies?

A new legislative act is being developed aiming to turn Belarus into a new “Silicon Valley”. Although the development of the document has just begun we learned that unique preferences are envisioned for large Western companies in order to attract investments into Belarusian ICT.

In addition, the authorities started to develop a Personal Data Protection Law that will appear in 2018.

Meanwhile, it was announced that the number of LTE users has increased 10 times in 2 years – from 50 thousand in 2015, when 4G was first introduced, to 500 thousand in 2017.

DR comments: The development of comprehensive ICT programs is a growing regional trend in Eurasia, caused both by the Digital Era challenges and opportunities for digitized economies located along a new “Digital Silk Road”: a “Digital Economy” program is being developed in Russia, while the national ICT project Taza Koom was introduced in Kyrgyzstan on 30 May.

4. Russia is expressing more interest in cryptocurrencies.

The Bank of Russia prepared a bill that considers cryptocurrencies as digital goods. The project was developed in cooperation with the ministries of Finance, Economic Development, and security officials. A bank’s Deputy Chairman stated that while the world financial system may not regard cryptocurrencies as a threat, they could turn into a threat very quickly and that is why there is a need to understand and control them inside the country.

DR comments: Earlier we announced that Russia could become a first state in the world to legalize bitcoins.

5. Do foreign IT specialists threaten Moldova’s national security?

The Parliament of Moldova will discuss amendments to the legislation aimed at providing migration privileges for the international start-up staff, investors, senior managers, and prominent IT-specialists coming to Moldova. The amendments would ease the process of obtaining work permits for such foreigners, and as a result, promote the national IT sector. At the same time, some politicians opposed the adoption of these amendments in their current form, citing security risks. The opponents suggest limiting the list of eligible countries from which IT specialists would be able to apply under this quota. However, a majority of the public disagrees with such concerns.

6. Russia is expanding ICT legislation.

In the wake of developing a new “Digital Economy” plan, the Ministry of Communications proposed to demand from the foreign developers of web browsers to meet requirements of national security certificates. This would increase the level of national security, in their view. According to the “Digital Economy” plan, Russian ICT companies will be using domestic cryptographic software by 2021.

In a related development, Roskomnadzor will supervise the processing of personal data. The corresponding government decree has been prepared by the Ministry of Communications. At the same time, amendments to the law “On Personal Data” introduce sanctions against companies that provide a client’s Personal Data to spammers, while Russian mobile operators have to re-confirm identities of their clients on a request of law enforcement agencies, according to another bill proposed by the Ministry of Communications.

7. Moldova launched its Action Plan to increase children’s online safety.

The government of Moldova began implementation of the “2017-2020 Action Plan to Promote Internet Security for Children and Adolescents” published in March 2017. The spread of illegal and dangerous content harmful to children and adolescents,  caused deep concerns in the society, due to possible causing of psychological trauma and dangerous activities.

8. Is Ukrainian Kharkiv a Safe City?

The municipal authorities of Kharkiv, Ukraine, launched testing of the “Safe City” program. The first stage of the project involved installation of a video surveillance system in the city’s center that recognizes people by their gait and facial features, and cars by their wheels and bodywork. A “Situational Center” has already been created to receive information and manage critical situations in real time. The Centre’s operators will monitor city streets and pass relevant information to the various city services.