Russia’s parliament is debating a plan that would require all electronic devices sold in Russia, including smartphones, computers and smart TVs, to be pre-installed with applications from Russian technology companies. Russian lawmakers say the bill will protect the interests of Russian Internet companies and reduce abuse by large foreign technology companies.
If the Russian government approves the bill, it will publish a list of electronic devices that need to comply with the new law. Smartphones, tablets, computers, servers and smart TVs are expected to be on the list, and devices that do not run complex operating systems and software will be excluded. Suppliers who fail to comply with the law face fines of up to 200,000 roubles and a ban if they repeatedly violate.
Some worry that Russia will move toward full surveillance because pre-installed apps can be easily accessed by the government to access users’ private data and even encrypt communications.