Want to use Wi-Fi in Russia? Don’t forget your permit!

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11 Responses

  1. Tim Newman says:

    Oh Jesus. Just when you think Russia has inched forwards towards the 21st century (remember when you had to declare a mobile phone when you entered the country?), it takes a giant stride backwards.

  2. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Completely and uttery depressing. Good grief, have they nothing better to do in Moskva dreaming up this bullshit, and the half the provinces penniless and drink acetone. Bozhe Moi!

  3. GER O'BRIEN says:

    The thing is Tim, they dont care. They wallow in red-tape and beauracracy like a pig rolls in shite. In the abscence of self-control by the authorities, and legal nihilism by their citizens, the Russia version of intelligent management is ream upon ream of useless rules….snore. No wonder they re-elect the first leader who gives them widescreen tvs and uninterupted electricity with 80% of the vote. And the funniest thing is everything that isnt fixed is the fault of the West! It bodes ill for a visa shake-up before Sochi…..

  4. Andy says:

    The really depressing thing is that this will be a regulation that is routinely ignored across the country.

    Except when the authorities are looking for an excuse to bring charges against someone they don’t like, or when someone sees an opportunity to demand a bribe.

  5. Russophile says:

    Andy: “the man who was hand-picked to regulate Russia’s communications… is a metallurgist.”

    Considering there are lots of metals in electronic devices, doesn’t that make him a perfect fit? j/k

    I think Andy is right that it will just be applied only when it is convenient. By constantly passing laws that are ridiculous to comply with and selectively enforced, Russia encourages its citizens to break laws. It enables a culture of doing what you can get away with.

    What about my Blackberry that has Wi-Fi built in? I suppose I will have to go back to registering my cell phone.

  6. Tim Newman says:

    They wallow in red-tape and beauracracy like a pig rolls in shite. In the abscence of self-control by the authorities, and legal nihilism by their citizens, the Russia version of intelligent management is ream upon ream of useless rules

    Tell me about it.

    By constantly passing laws that are ridiculous to comply with and selectively enforced, Russia encourages its citizens to break laws.

    I think more importantly, it means every citizen is always breaking some law or other at any given point in time, meaning they are permanently at the mercy of the authorities. This is especially true of businesses, both foreign or Russian. We all know that the authorities could find something to shut down operations and jail the directors in every company in Russia, we just hope that they don’t have the incentive to do so with us this week.

  7. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”Tell me about it”

    well, that was well in keeping with time-honoured Russian traditions of beauracracy and laziness. I’m not in the least bit suprised -indeed its my own experience that the only way to get anything done is harrasment. I remember in my first job in Moscow, they wronged my wages by about 2,000 roubles, my first wage. I’d been warned by friends to make a huge stink, the only way to get things fixed,and the only way to ensure there wouldnt be a repeat. So I did. And it was hilarious, watching the faces of the ‘Chief accountant’ and other office staff look on in shock at a Westerner who wouldnt take it lying down:-) Worked a treat, and I was actually overpaid routinely from that point on. But the fact is, the only way to do it was brute force.
    But the saddest thing about red-tape is what this does to Russians. Ireland is generally a form-free environment, in fact you’re only filling up forms here when you want something from the state like tax-back or a drivers licence. But on the odd occassion when we do have to fill one in, the wife, who is Russian, takes it deadly serious, making huge heavy weather of it, when we’d fill it in ourselves in two minutes. If there’s a problem it’ll be pointed out and fixed quickly -the Irish hate red-tape, even our beauracrats do. But not in Russia. If there’s a problem with the dokumenti, well, the End is Surely Nigh. Hence the wife taking a lifetime to fill in a 2 page form. Heartbreaking.

    The greatest pity though, is there is no doubt this nonsense has handicapped Russian development from day one and instead of being a Britain or Germany, Russia is still years behind the rest of us. Sad.

  8. Timothy Post says:

    The regulation isn’t completely clear to me.

    Is it possible that the regulation requiring registration is only for folks who will be setting-up a wifi hotspot and will also be charging for the service? That would make sense.

    It doesn’t make any sense that the device owners themselves will need to register. There are an estimated 500,000 iPhones now being used in Russia.

    I would guess that this regulation will apply only to internet cafes and coffee shops where the wifi network will be a paid service.

    Anyone able to read the original Russian for exact meaning?

  9. Red exile says:

    I just only now caught up with this post and then flashed it to our Moscow layers who went back to the law in question and say “This letter is not law, nor even a Prikaz (administrative order), it’s just a letter and has no force. Equally Clause 1, Article 29 of the Federal Law No 126 “On Telecommunications” (Federal Law “On Telecommunications”) dated 7 July 2003, they say, only applied to Wifi service providers and hot-spot providers (or me, for instance, if I gave my neighbours a password and charged them to use my home wifi).

    But, I love the idea that every Russian with a laptop of a smart-phone or PDA would need a permit.

  10. L.S says:

    There was a misunderstanding about this issue,
    Please see this article in Russian for more information. I also thought that this was true at first, but then it was clarified later
    http://www.fontanka.ru/2008/04/23/029/

  11. Doctor S says:

    Wireless devices are proliferating so fast here it is amazing. I just got the iPhone and I’m jumping from the cell data network to various wifi spots as I go – seamlessly for the most part. Further, it has blue tooth capability and I can send wirelessly to printers. My home is completely wireless and the network extends to phones, printers, and all computers. I can’t imagine having to register each and every one with the government. This will put a great damper on the technologic revolution in Russia, and cause this great county to further lose pace with the Western World. Sad. But maybe this will change. Check out my blog at mdoncall.blogspot.com. Thanks