The Ministry of Communications offered to switch to SIM cards with encryption from the FSB

    In order to implement the provisions of the “Law of Spring”, the Ministry of Communications and Telecommunications proposed to implement Russian networks of cryptographic protection on communication networks, which would require a transition to new SIM cards. The draft order is published on the official portal of draft regulatory legal acts.

    You can read it here .

    Based on the project map data, the following is provided as a justification:
    “The need to prepare a draft regulatory legal act is conditioned by the requirements for ensuring the integrity, sustainability of operation and security of the unified telecommunication network of the Russian Federation, protection of communication networks from unauthorized access to them and information transmitted through them, taking into account the modern development of science and the emergence of new standards and technologies in the field of communication . "
    Also, a description of the problem is given:
    “At present, providing telecommunications operators with services to perform certain work related to the operation and management of communication networks involves foreign organizations and foreign citizens who are not employees of a communication operator, who are provided with direct or remote access to communication equipment for setting it up, configuration, changes or reset settings, on and off and other similar actions that may affect the performance of communication equipment, increasing the risk of price violations planarity, stability, performance and security of the Russian Federation uniform telecommunications network in the absence of appropriate rules and requirements for the operation and management of communication networks. "
    And of course the goal of this project:
    “The purpose of the proposed regulation is to reduce the risk of violation of the integrity, operational stability and security of the unified telecommunication network of the Russian Federation.”
    According to the project, the agency proposes to oblige telecom operators to switch to new SIM cards. The document also states that operators must identify subscribers using certified Federal Security Service (FSB) encryption. The Ministry of Economics has already given a positive conclusion, but proposed to finalize the project.

    Now 260 million SIM cards are being served in Russia, and according to the most conservative estimates, the introduction of an encryption standard that is comfortable for the FSB will require 5 billion rubles. It's not just the SIM cards themselves, but also the equipment on the side of the providers that will work with them.

    By the way, the Ministry of Communications believes that SIM cards “with integrated FSB” will surely be reliable only if they have to be changed every 15 months.Otherwise, again, foreign intelligence, the threat to national security, etc. At the same time, the authors of the project themselves are not completely confident in the vital necessity of their initiative. In particular, it is constantly emphasized that it is not necessary to change already issued SIM cards.

    In the meantime, the technology that allows the phone to be identified on the network via a physical chip has existed since the end of the last century and may well be replaced by an electronic identifier in modern conditions. The largest handset manufacturers are preparing to submit an e-SIM card standard by 2019. Most likely, in order to certify all this in the FSB, considerable resources will be required.

    The antiterrorist amendments, the so-called “Spring Law”, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 7, 2016, entered into force on July 1. The package of amendments obliges Russian telecom operators and Internet providers to store calls, letters, files, customer conversations for six months.

    A month after the amendments came into force, the Internet companies did not begin to execute the law, because the Ministry of Communications did not prepare clarifying documents on the rules for storing data and the procedure for transmitting information upon request to law enforcement agencies.

    UPD: according to unverified data, work on the order is currently suspended, after the change of leadership of the ministry and the departure of five deputies from the department.

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