Want to use Wi-Fi in Russia? Don’t forget your permit!
If you ever travel to Russia on business, and want to use your notebook’s Wi-Fi, or perhaps your brand new iPhone Russia, you might want to think again.
Failure to comply will mean a fine, and probably the confiscation of your beloved equipment.
But don’t worry – registering your wireless device should only take around 10 days… after which, you’ll be able to check your emails without checking over your shoulder at the same time for the FSB snoops…
You’re kidding, right?
Sadly not. The newly formed Russian Mass Media, Communications and Cultural Protection Service (more affectionately known as Rossvyazokhrankultura) has decided that it wants to muscle in on technology regulation, as well as regulation of the wider media.
And, so, a few weeks ago, the regulation you can see here was signed. Here’s a translation of the relevant sections:
On the use of communications electronics in the Russian Federation
Within the framework of its jurisdiction, the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Mass Communications, Telecommunication and Protection of the Cultural Heritage has examined your application to the Russian Ministry of Information Technology and Communications and would like to inform you of the following.
In accordance with Clause 1, Article 29 of the Federal Law No 126 “On Telecommunications” (Federal Law “On Telecommunications”) dated 7 July 2003, legal entities and individual entrepreneurs may provide paid-for telecommunications services only under license. No license is required to provide telecommunications services free of charge.
At the same time, taking into consideration the fact that Wi-Fi technology implies using radio frequency bands and electronic radio devices, in accordance with the Federal Law “On Telecommunications the owners of electronic radio devices must:
Obtain a permit to use radio wave bands in accordance with the “Procedure of conducting expert analysis, examination of documents and reaching decisions on awarding (assigning) radio frequencies or frequency channels for electronic radio devices within the range of allocated radio frequency bands,” as set out by the decision of the State Commission for Radio Frequencies No 04-01-06-1 dated 9 August 2004;
Register electronic radio devices in accordance with the “Rules for the registration of electronic radio devices and high-frequency devices,” which were approved by Russian Federation Government Decree No 539 dated 12 October 2004.
(signed) V.P. Krasnov, deputy head of the Directorate for Supervision and Monitoring in the Sphere of Telecommunications
By the way, did I mention that the head of Rossvyazokhrankultura, the man who was hand-picked to regulate Russia’s communications… is a metallurgist.