Russia Requires ID to Access Public Wi-Fi

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People who want to use public Wi-Fi in Russia will need to enter their personal identification information under a new government order.

According to a report by GigaOM that references several Russian news outlets, Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev signed the new order this week which applies to public hotspots run by network operators.

Under the new order, network operators who run public hotposts will have to keep track of the devices that are logging on, users’ full names and ID or driver’s license numbers.

Network operators will be required to store this information for six months and make it available to authorities when requested.

Russia has been quickly rolling out new regulations to give the government more control over how the Internet is used in the country, which is known around the world for its online censorship. Last week, Russia started enforcing a rule under which popular bloggers and news outlets have to register with the government and ensure they publish accurate content.

In July, Russia passed an amendment to a law that would require all domestic and international online services operating in Russia to store data on servers in Russia. Russia’s communications regulator will block ISPs that fail to comply with this law, which is expected to be enforced starting September 2016.


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