Russian ministry publishes draft law on internet, critical networks regulation

15 Nov 2016

Russia’s telecoms ministry (MinSvyaz) has published for public comment a draft law on the regulation of the Russian section of the Internet (‘Runet’), reportedly on the basis of orders from President Vladimir Putin following a Security Council meeting two years ago, according to a source ‘close to the authors of the document’ quoted by Vedomosti. The draft amendments to the Law On Communications describe the main elements of critical Runet infrastructure and features of their regulation, including autonomous systems, IP addresses, the national segment of the Internet and its infrastructure, exchange point traffic, exchange point owners, the domain name registry .ru and .rf, as well as the administrator of national domain zones. The proposed measures also envisage the development of the ‘State Information System’ to ensure ‘integrity, stability and security’. The draft legal framework contains few actual details of regulation of critical infrastructure elements, which are expected to be elaborated on in further sub-acts.

The unnamed Vedomosti source stated that one of the objectives of the State Information System project is to increase domestic traffic and reduce traffic via international channels. Under the draft measures, internet traffic exchange points (IXPs) should belong exclusively to Russian companies (with the report pointing out that Russian IXPs are already controlled by Russian-owned entities; state-backed Rostelecom holding majority ownership of the largest IXP, Moscow Internet Exchange [MSK-IX]). In addition, the bill’s text implies that the administrator of the national domain zone must be a Russian legal entity and an established state body of executive power in the field of communication (i.e. MinSvyaz).