A new draft law has been introduced to Russian state duma. This draft law proposes to enable electronic mail box for internet user only after checking of user’s cell phone. In other words under the draft law the emailing services is available for internet user only after his/her identification by cell phone. If identification fails for any reason the mailing service provider can disable emailing service.
Russian lawmakers propose to enable emailing services in Russia only between identified internet users. Identification means that the SIM card or cell phone of internet user has been registered by his/her internal passport. The state plans to reserve the right to forbid to any internet user, who has email account, to send to anyone or non-identified email account holder any mail. The draft law is to be entered into force at 1st of January 2020.
The purpose of draft law is to “decrease the quantity of false terrorist messages, disseminated by email services, and to create legal conditions for bringing criminals to justice, to reduce economic damages caused by such false messages”. But if Russian enforcement authorities have access to any email box of Russian services providers it seems like little stupid justification to cover the real purpose – to control ability to email anyone. It is also interesting whether foreign services providers like Google, Yahoo and other similar services intend to comply with this law?
The draft law proposed to oblige email service provider to conclude with Russian mobile operator an agreement on identification of email box user. The similar requirement is provided in the law on messengers like Viber of WhatsApp. The email service provider would require cell phone number from internet user before registration of mail box and if the cell phone holder matches with email box holder the identification is passed. The legislators claim sometimes users don’t use their personal cell phone for registration in messengers, they take someone else phone numbers and pass identification.
If the user’s email contains information forbidden for dissemination in Russia and Russian relevant state authority requires, the email service provider must restrict the user’s ability to send messages. As always this draft law, aiming to make running of business in Russia more complicated, target only Russian internet companies – Mail.ru, Rambler, Yandex.Mail. So internet users can shift to foreign email services, like Google, because the last as well as Yahoo are out of this draft law.