The attention focused on high-profile bills Senator Klishas of the sovereign, punishment for disrespect of authority and a ban on the publication of false information in the media. However, now the Federation Council is preparing no less important initiatives for compulsory registration of IMEI phones. In early 2020, the verification could become mandatory for all smartphones used on the territory of Russia. According to experts who took part in writing the bill, he must fight the grey market of smartphones, will have a positive impact on the safety of citizens and will Supplement the budget. But there are negative sides. Daily Storm talks about all aspects of the initiative.

First, the introduction of mandatory registration of IMEI cell in Russia began to talk last summer. Then the expert Council under the government developed the concept of control as the phones with the help of their identifier (IMEI). In December 2018 the author of the bill Senator Lyudmila Bokova said that the check smartphones can enter in 2023.

IMEI is a unique code composed of fifteen digits. The number is assigned to the gadget by the manufacturer. It is possible to know the model and series of mobile machines by some manufacturers (Apple) is the recognition function of the phone stolen or tampered with.

Coordinator of the working group “Communications and IT” (participated in the creation of the bill) under the government of the Russian Federation Irina Levova in dialogue with the Daily Storm said that the bill will approximately be adopted in early 2020. “The project was coordinated with some technical comments from the Ministry of justice and corrections from Rossvyaz, it works. But the overall concept has not changed,” — said the expert.

To register IMEI will create a special database that will store all the codes phones. The operator may be the FSUE ZNIIS (Central scientific research Institute of communication), which already holds a database of ported numbers. “They [the specialists of the centre] filled bumps on this project, so, in our opinion, the crid will be able to cope with the task [for the storage of IMEI-codes]”, — Levova said.

Security against surveillance

In the expert Council, who was involved in the development of the concept, consists of the “big four” manufacturers of equipment, AKIT (Association of companies of Internet trade), representatives of the Ministry of communications and analytical Department of the FSB.

Law enforcement agencies became part of the Commission is not accidental. The law is aimed at combating the gray market of smartphones imported into the country illegally. The turnover is up to 10% market share of subscriber devices (4.7 million in the amount of 32.1 billion rubles) — follows from the explanatory notes to the bill. In addition, the authors hope that check IMEI of phone will help to reduce the number of thefts of smartphones. According to police, over the past three years, every third theft in Russia associated with the theft of subscriber devices. “Stealing phones will become meaningless. As the stolen gadget can easily become a “brick” if people turn to the law enforcement authorities with a request to block the device. For example, this practice uses the Apple, but the proportion of users of this company in Russia is not so big,” Levova said. The expert adds that the initiative will allow us to stop fraud in the sphere of mobile banking.

However, such decisions raise concerns. “Novaya Gazeta” wrote that Russia took over the practice of registration of mobile devices from Kazakhstan. In this country, according to the publication, IMEI used to spy on citizens. “If a subscriber has a phone with two SIM cards — it is necessary to register twice. If the unit is changed, it must be removed from the register. If the device has been lost — this should definitely alert the mobile operator (behind which looms the national security Committee),” writes the authors of the material, recognizing that in Russia, the history registration looks a little softer.

The arguments of the “New” part was supported by the Kazakh human rights activist Yevgeny Zhovtis:

“As befits the citizens of the former Soviet Union, we are very suspicious. Until such time as we have no independent judiciary and no independent control over the security services, there are no guarantees against possible abuses of that information. Therefore, we are quite pessimistic”.

Daily Storm turned to the author of the initiative Lyudmila Side with the question of whether there will be abuse by law enforcement authorities. However, the Senator could not answer because it was on a business trip.

In turn, Irina Levova said that the binding SIM cards, referred to in “Novaya Gazeta”, not mandatory. “Tie the phone to the SIM card, the citizen can volunteer. The operators came to the conclusion that their retail is not ready for that.”

Revenues against the rise of smartphones

In addition, the introduction of the law may have a positive effect on the budget. The cost of registration devices range from 100 rubles (for individuals) up to 3 thousand. The pricing of such additional revenues can range from $ 500 million to 14 billion rubles. In the explanatory note to the draft law, the experts note that the total volume of the budget losses from unpaid taxes for the grey import smartphones is about 16.6 billion rubles.

Responsible for the registration will be the importer or a physical person who imports the gadget. According to Leva, “if people will buy phones in Russia, they will already be included in the “white list” it is the responsibility of importers. Accordingly, the user will not notice anything. If the user imports as a physical entity, in this case, he will need to register your phone with the operator in the cabin or on the special website”.

In turn, the experts of the mobile market saying that the registration fee may lead to rise in prices of smartphones. Daily Telecom analyst Ilya Shatilin in an interview with the Daily Storm was of the opinion that due to the introduction of compulsory registration codes phones may increase the price of the devices themselves.

“The question is, who will give the money. A lot depends on who will register IMEI. If liabilities will be assumed by the importer or the seller, the amount will be included in the cost of the device. If the operator, in this case this may affect the fare. If you will register the user, then the price will not change, but in the end it all leads to the wallet of the end user, says Chatelin, noting: — most Likely, the law will affect the market of phones sold on Aliexpress or other international sites. This channel can be blocked. That are sold in Russia officially, and will be sold — a fall or a rise in demand will not.”

Coordinator of the working group “Communication and IT” Irina Levova agreed that phones can appreciate, but, she said, slightly: “maybe the Rise in price of 20 rubles. But when a person buys a smartphone for 20 or for 100 thousand, then for 20 rubles, you can protect yourself and your operations that are performed using the smartphone,” Levova considers.

What if I use grey smartphone?

“The Amnesty period is expected to three years is the period of data accumulation in the database. If users now use smartphones gray, for this time with them, nothing will happen. Three years later comes an alert that the phone need to register. We asked the operators to perform the period of rotation, smartphones, how often they change the device. They said people change smartphones every two or three years, repelled,” — said the expert of the working group “Communication and IT” Irina Levova.

Thus, if now people use the gray telephone, the law will not affect, as the device will simply stop working by the time the whole document will come into force. Levova also emphasizes that in the case of loss of the smartphone to contact the authorities with a request to block it will be up to 2023.

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