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Forced paid registration of phones and tablets will be introduced in Russia



From January 1, 2020, mandatory paid registration of all mobile devices with Internet access on phones, tablets, laptops can be introduced in Russia. The corresponding bill has already been submitted to the State Duma, and in the first reading, the parliament plans to consider it in the current plenary week.

The initiative was initiated by the head of the Temporary Commission of the Information Society Development, Lyudmila Bokova, who earlier, together with Senator Andrei Klishas and Deputy Andrei Lugovoy, introduced the law on “ sovereign Internet ” to the Duma.

If the law enters into force, manufacturers and importers will be obliged to register devices using the international mobile equipment identifier IMEI. Gadgets purchased abroad, the Russians will be able to register independently using the website of public services for several months, otherwise the mobile operator will be obliged to block the device.

The cost of registering a phone will be 100 rubles, and all data on IMEI-codes will be stored in the databases of the Research Institute of Communication and Management Systems (ZNIIS), subordinated to Rossvyaz.

Also, the deputy Bokova reported :

"The possibility of extending this rule to all devices, including sensors (used, for example, in electricity and water meters), which, like a mobile phone, must have serial numbers, is being discussed."

For owners of devices who at the time of entry into force of the law do not have time to register, a procedure of “amnesty” is provided – Russians will be given several months to rectify the situation and officially register existing devices.

What goals do lawmakers pursue with this step?

  • First, according to their expectations, it will be possible to put an end to the turnover of stolen smartphones.
  • Secondly, it will be possible to completely kill the “gray” market and the purchase of inexpensive smartphones from China by citizens.
  • Thirdly, the implementation of the plan will allow to fill the state treasury: although the deputies promise that registration will cost no more than 100 Russian rubles ($ 1.5), a substantial amount will be released nationwide (about 2.5 billion a year from smartphones alone).

Experts note that, thanks to this law, it will be even easier to track the movements and calls of citizens. Telephone sets will be fixed for specific individuals-buyers, and a simple change of SIM-card in the device (with an anonymous or, for example, purchased by a third party) will not be able to hide a person from the all-seeing eye of the special services.

However, in order to avoid paying for a new state collection, it will be enough to abandon modern technology. For example, landline phones with dialing will not be taxed.

Publication date 03/19/2019
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