IP and IT news: last quarter of 2022

A three-year transition period has been established for organizations to connect to GosSOPKA

The Federal Security Service of Russia’s Decree dated November 1, 2022 has been published [1]. According to the Decree, federal bodies of executive power, authorities of constituent entities of the Russian Federation and organizations have right to make the transition to GosSOPKA (the State System for the Detection, Prevention and Elimination of Consequences of Computer Attacks on Information Resources of the Russian Federation) within three years. The order will come into force this year on December 13.

As a reminder: state bodies, authorities of constituent entities of the Russian Federation, state corporations and organizations that are subjects of the Russian Federation’s critical infrastructure (banks, companies of the fuel and energy complex) should connect to the GosSOPKA system. Connection is achieved by submitting a written application to the Federal Security Service.

Rules have been established for the submission of a report on a operator’s activities

As of December 1, 2022, amendments to the law “On Communications” [2] came into force. The amendments oblige a communication operator to submit an annual report on its activities to the regulator Roscomnadzor. The report is designed to confirm that the operator actually provides communication services. If no report is submitted or if a report contains information that is deliberately untrue or incomplete, this will be a basis for the revocation of the communication operator’s license.

The rules on the provision of such a report come into force at the same time as the amendments to the law [3].

The report should be submitted through a specially created personal account and signed by an enhanced qualified electronic signature.

The report should contain information about the operator, information about the operator’s network and communication services (subjects and addresses at which services are provided, information about the connection of telecommunications networks and the interaction of the telecommunications operator), and information about the technological capabilities of the communication network.

A communication operator is obliged to submit the report annually, before March 1 of the year following the reporting year.

New rules for registering domain names are coming into effect

New rules for the registration of .Ru and .РФ  domain names came into force on December 12 this year [4]. The changes concern the grounds on which the registrar has the right to terminate the delegation of a domain (that is, the placement and storage of information about the domain name and the DNS servers corresponding to it in the DNS servers of the top-level domain, which ensures the operation of the domain on the Internet).

The new development is that the registrar will be entitled to stop the delegation of the domain, inter alia on the basis of a well-grounded demand of the head (or another authorized officer) of Roscomnadzor If a domain name is registered using personal data of third parties without their consent, as well as if this Internet resource contains information to which access should be restricted in Russia.

The amendments to the Rules were initiated by Roscomnadzor. The Agency has received many complaints about the fact that personal data was used to register domain names without the knowledge and consent of the data subjects. The opportunity to apply directly to the registrar to terminate the delegation of a domain which was registered with the illegal use of personal data allows the rights of stakeholders to be protected more rapidly.

Meanwhile, under the law “On Information”, Roscomnadzor has the powers to block sites containing information to which access is restricted in Russia. Thus, the new version of the Rules provides the agency with even broader powers – in fact, a site can be blocked instantly after a request to the registrar, without going to court.

Clarifications on the application of the amended Rules (for example, what evidence should be contained in a well-grounded request from Roscomnadzor) are awaited from the Agency itself and the Coordination Center for .RU/.RF domains.

As before, the registrar may also terminate the delegation of a domain, inter alia, if he learns that the information about the domain administrator is false, or that the site is being used to transmit confidential information or distribute malicious computer programs (viruses).

The Moscow City Court will be the first instance court in cases of restricting access to messengers

On December 5 this year, amendments [5] to the Russian Code of Administrative Proceedings came into force. They supplement the rules on jurisdiction. From now on, the Moscow City Court will, as a first instance court, hear administrative cases not only concerning restricting access to an audiovisual service (online cinemas), but also on restricting access to information systems and/or computer programs that are designed and/or used to transmit electronic messages (messengers).  Access to a messenger or an online movie theater may be restricted for a number of reasons: a systematic violation of Russian legislation on personal data, the posting of information whose distribution is prohibited in Russia, and a copyright infringement.

Previously, such cases were considered in the standard manner, with district courts acting as courts of first instance. It is likely that granting the Moscow City Court the authority of the court of first instance in cases involving messengers and online movie theaters will allow unified judicial practice to be formed regarding such cases.

[1] Order No. 543 of the FSS of Russia  dated November 1, 2022 “On determining the transition period provided for by subparagraph “b” of paragraph 5 of Decree No. 250 of the President of the Russian Federation dated May 1, 2022 ” (Registered with the Russian Ministry of Justice on December 1, 2022 under No. 71291).

[2] Federal Law No. 356-FZ “On Amendments to Articles 39 and 46 of the Federal Law ’On Communications’” dated July 14, 2022 .

[3] Resolution No. 1984 of the Government of the Russian Federation dated November 3, 2022 “On Approving the Rules for reporting on the activities of a telecommunications operator and the form of a report on the activities of a telecommunications operator”.

[4] “Rules for the registration of domain names in the .RU and .RF domains ” (approved by decision No. 2011-18/81 of the Coordination Center of the National Domain of the Internet dated October 5, 2011) (as amended on November 7, 2022).

[5] Federal Law No. 477-FZ dated December 5, 2022 “On Amending Article 3 of the Federal Law ’On compensation for a violation of the right to a trial within a reasonable time or the right to enforce a judicial act within a reasonable time’ and the Code of Administrative Proceedings of the Russian Federation”.

Vera Zotova
Senior Associate, PhD in Law

+7 931 210 50 03
St. Petersburg

Olga Nechaeva
Junior Associate

+7 921 639 65 71
St. Petersburg