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Friday, February 23, 2018

Open government has taken under the protection of the “Spring package”

Governmental expert group, headed by Mikhail Abyzov dismissed the petition on the abolition of the “Spring package”, speaking in support of the “fundamental law protecting the Russians from the global terrorist threat,” and against critics, reflecting the interests of particular groups of merchants. In addition, criticism of the authors of the petition addressed to the initial version of the law, while it was later modified.

The expert working group headed by Minister for open government Mikhail Abyzov has rejected a petition which demanded the abolition of the “Spring package”, he said on Thursday, TASS reported. “Invalid cancellation of the fundamental law that protects the Russians from the global terrorist threat, in favor of the interests of separate groups of businessmen”, – stated in the list of conclusions of the meeting.

“Recently, thank God, was not of such crimes, but remember the 2000-ies. This is not an imaginary problem”

We will remind, last summer the President signed a package of anti-terrorist laws (the authors state Duma Deputy Irina Yarovaya and Senator Viktor Ozerov), who obligate for 6 months of Telecom operators and Internet companies to store information about the facts and content of conversations and correspondence of the users to provide them on request of the security services. So far, they have been obliged to store such information only 12 hours.

The law, which takes effect from 1 July 2018, aroused opposition from Telecom operators, which said that its implementation would require excessive costs. On the website of the Russian public initiative was placed an online petition on the abolition of the “Spring package”. She scored more than 100 thousand votes required for consideration at the Federal level.

The petition noted that “the law requires a lot of money, may lead to the bankruptcy of many Internet companies and to reduce the state income from taxes derived from them”. Its authors reminded that the operators cited various figures from 2.2 to 5 trillion roubles, expenses on creation of infrastructure for storage of information. However, any justification of the specified size cost no. Also, the authors of the petition complained that it is unconstitutional and “infringes human rights”.

The decision to deny the petition was supported by the majority of members of the group: from 19 people, two abstained, and two spoke in favor of the petition. However, the group still intends to make recommendations to the government, the state Duma and the Supreme court that need to be considered in further work with the document when preparing legal acts. For example, the state Duma proposed to consider the issue of exclusion broader interpretation of the concepts of “missionary activity”, “extremism” and “insult of religious feelings of believers”. The Supreme court, the panel recommends that in the course of this year to perform and generalize the judicial practice as part of the rules associated with missionary activity.

At the same time, the implementation of the law will, according to experts, a significant multiplier effect, including will contribute to the development of the digital economy and industrial production as a whole. In particular, to accelerate the modernization of telephone networks and construction of new digital exchanges, the establishment of data centers. Thus, as expected, within two years seriously cheaper in itself, the storage of information in the same way as prices fell for a “flash”.

But, as explained Abyzov, the main purpose of the anti-terrorism package was to prevent the threat of terrorism and the effective investigation of crimes in this highly sensitive area. “Recently, thank God, was not of such crimes, but remember the 2000-ies. It’s not an artificial problem,” said the Minister.

Earlier the expert group noted that provisions similar to the provisions of the new law, already well established in other laws – “On communication” and “About operatively-search activity”. They fully comply with the Basic law, which proves the inconsistency of the thesis about infringement of the rights of citizens, as mentioned in the petition.

In addition, the prosecution of the authors of the petition were addressed to the original version of the bill, only introduced in the Parliament, whereas later it was considerably modified. The head of state after the signing of the law instructed the government to prepare draft normative acts to minimize possible risks. Thus, the implementation of the law shall not entail consequences to the extent outlined by the authors, whose “peer review” is not based on a sound analysis and had theoretical character.

The Commission noted that concerns about the volume of data storage and technical requirements were also taken into account. Know about the joint efforts of the government and operators on the elaboration of decisions on the procedure and terms of information storage.

At the meeting, the Deputy Ministry of communications Alexei Volin said that the Ministry has coordinated with security agencies, it is possible that reduction in 10 times of the amount of information storage in the framework of the “Spring package”. Thus, it was decided to eliminate the storage of redundant data, in particular Internet video, and some other data, providing up to 80% of the traffic, not just traffic as a whole, as previously estimated. Volin said that the transition to the information storage for six months, as provided by law, will be gradual.

“We have an understanding that from 12 hours to six months, the transition can be produced immediately. Therefore, the transition can be done gradually, that is, first, to deepen the shelf life to a week, then to two and so on” – quoted by Volin, RIA “Novosti”. He added that thus removed the fears “about rising costs from providers and from the possible bankruptcy of market participants”.

According to the Ministry of communications, the average cost of the storage and processing of data of subscribers of one mobile operator within six months in one region will amount to 120 million rubles, and for the Moscow region – up to 500 million Total cost of implementation for all operators will be about 35 billion rubles, which, according to the Ministry, is not their critical load.

Member of expert Council of strategic initiatives Agency under the government, Internet-Ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev said that the law should remain in force, – it contains a lot of rules that affect several important areas of our lives. “Cancel it, as urged by the petitioners, it was inappropriate,” said Marinichev the OPINION, adding that the arguments cited by the Commission headed Abyzov, “it’s hard to argue.”

Member of the presidential Council for civil society development and human rights, Igor Borisov also supports the law because society, and government need protection from terrorists attempts “to break into our lives.” “The question is how regulation should be robust as it must justify the means and measures. This is the main question in the framework of the expert and the human rights community, which should assess the proportionality of the threats that hung over the state,” – Borisov said the newspaper VIEW.

“We see the events in Syria and other regions where the terrorists are trying to destabilize the situation and to attract beginners who are not virtual, but really affect the quiet life of citizens”, – he reminded. “We need to continue the conciliation work. You need to bring to the attention of the public what threats actually exist and why these measures need to be taken. In such discourse we come to a decision and settles. Must be a clearer rationale for any further work”, – said Borisov.

As the General Director of the Center for political information Alexei Mukhin, the practice has shown that for the opposition of the audience, such laws remain a constant occasion to draw attention to himself. “The excitement around them will continue, of course. Will go with one or the other side, will try to demonize the government, whether legislative or Executive, and even the Supreme. The dismissal of the petition is fuel in the opposition system, which will be used further in the development process of new initiatives for the abolition of this law. Here cancel it now and the sense of the existence of the opposition just disappear, so for them it is a convenient excuse to continue its critical activity”, – said Mukhin newspaper VIEW.

With regard to the consistency of a package of laws to the Constitution, a document that reminded the scientist, was verified by lawyers – those who wish can apply to the constitutional court “and to this conclusion”.


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