Russia Heavy Handed Registration for Wifi

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It seems like Russia wants to keep a tight reign on things, anything with Wifi capability must be licenses! That includes your phone…imagine having to apply for a permit to have a wireless AP at home?

Rather ridiculous no?

Business travellers to Russia might want to keep their laptops and iPhones well-concealed – not from muggers, necessarily, but from the country’s recently formed regulatory super-agency, Rossvyazokhrankultura (short for the Russian Mass Media, Communications and Cultural Protection Service).

In the UK, Ofcom made deregulation one of its first priorities upon coming into existence, but the Russian equivalent is doing just the reverse, including an ominous-sounding policy of requiring registration for every Wi-Fi device and hotspot, according to a report this week from news agency Fontanka.

Deregulation? In Russia? It seems like that really is a joke. Privates registration are supposed to take 10 days..for hotspots? Bundles of paperwork and red-tape, everywhere else in the World is embracing free and easy Wifi, whole cities are countries are being covered in Wifi and it seems like Russia is trying to kill it off.

Rossvyazokhrankultura’s interpretation of current law holds that users must register any electronics that use the frequency involved in Wi-Fi communications, said Vladimir Karpov, the deputy director of the agency’s communications monitoring division, according to an English commentary provided by website The Other Russia.

Aside from public hotspots, the registration requirement also applies to home networks, laptops, smart phones and Wi-Fi-enabled PDAs, Karpov reportedly said. Registration only permits use by the owner.

So that pretty much covers absolutely anything that can emit or receive a Wifi signal…and only to be used by the owner?

I wonder does that mean if we are sitting together and I let you use my phone to surf using Wifi we are breaking the law?

Source: Computer World

Posted in: Legal Issues, Privacy

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5 Responses to Russia Heavy Handed Registration for Wifi

  1. emil April 23, 2008 at 3:12 pm #

    Soviet here we come

  2. zupakomputer April 23, 2008 at 6:55 pm #

    Bet you this is because of all the Revenge of the Cold War Era palava over that East Euro US defense system.

    Then George will be on the phone to the next guy, Dimitri, then it’s Game Over Dr. Strangelove time. One wodka too many and we’re all toast.

    Either that or Russian politics just likes making the people there queue up for things.

  3. X April 24, 2008 at 12:31 am #

    “users must register any electronics that use the frequency involved in Wi-Fi communications”.
    That seems way too broad of a policy. So now people must register their wireless phones and microwave ovens? How are they to regulate this?
    “I’m sorry sir, you can’t cook that hot pocket until you have the proper registration papers”.

  4. Zebulon April 30, 2008 at 3:31 am #

    man it’s gonna be just like the Nazi’s instead of them taking people from homes it’s gonna be cell phones, and laptops, sounds to me like they are trying to make people into cows, anyway exactly how are they gonna monitor what your doing with your device, I think this is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard of.

  5. FlashPratt May 2, 2008 at 4:51 am #

    I’m just glad I’m not living in Russia anymore… If the feds in the US ever want to make me register my wireless access points they can pry the router from my cold dead fingers.