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Russia: New requirements for foreign web hosting providers enter into effect

On December 4, 2023, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) announced the creation of a register for foreign web hosting providers and the introduction of further requirements for organizations, following amendments to the Federal Law No. 126-FZ on Communications (the Law) which entered into effect on December 1, 2023.

What are the new obligations for foreign web hosting providers?

The Roskomnadzor noted that amendments to the Law introduced an obligation for foreign web hosting providers to register with the Roskomnadzor.

Moreover, the Law establishes additional requirements related to cybersecurity, including:

  • ensuring the protection of information in their infrastructure;
  • collaborating with the State System for Detecting, Preventing, and Eliminating the Consequences of Computer Attacks on Information Resources of the Russian Federation (GosSOPKA);
  • quickly responding when threats arise, notably by reporting incidents within 24 hours from the moment they are identified; and
  • using the National Domain Name System (NDS) and precise time servers (NTP servers) located on Russian territory.

Furthermore, the Roskomnadzor noted that hosting providers will be able to serve only users who have been identified or authenticated using methods approved by the Government.

What is the deadline for registration?

In order to create a register, foreign hosting providers must submit an activity notification through Roskomnadzor's website here. Organizations that are yet to begin their activities as web hosting providers must notify the Roskomnadzor no later than 15 days prior to starting their activities.

What about organizations that are not registered?

According to the Roskomnadzor, organizations that are not registered will be prohibited from providing hosting services in Russia from February 1, 2024.

You can read the press release, only available in Russian, here.