May 30 — June 05, 2015
Russia debating the right to be forgotten
The Russian Parliament is to discuss a draft bill on the right to be forgotten. The bill submitted for parliamentary discussion introduces the right of an individual to require removal of links to outdated and incorrect information about users. According to the draft legislation, all online search engines will have to remove links to personal information upon a user’s request. The legislation specifies this can be because the information is incorrect, outdated, or disseminated illegally. Exceptions include information concerning criminal activities. Popular Russian search engine Yandex criticised the bill noting that it will require search engines to play the role of the court, a responsibility they are not designed to fulfill.
Georgia to develop electronic petitions portal
The Georgian government aims to develop an electronic petitions portal to allow greater citizen influence on government activities. The government promises to examine and respond to any online petition with at least 5000 signatories. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili spoke about the initiative during the Open Government Partnership conference in Tbilisi. Mr. Garibashvili said that the Georgian government requires structural and cultural changes in order to become more open and transparent for Georgian citizens, something this portal aims to address. Although no implementation date is currently available, the government wants to open the portal as soon as possible.
Twitter and Roskomnadzor square off in Russia
Russian Internet and Media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, announced that Twitter had complied with requests delete extremist tweets and has removed 32 of 53 tweets on the territory of the Russian Federation. Russian news sources are currently incorrectly reporting the material has been deleted, when the tweets are accessible from outside Russia. Likely, Twitter restricted access based upon IP address and declared country of residence, described on its website. It is unclear why Roskomnadzor claimed that the tweets were deleted when they were blocked, a very significant difference. Roskomnadzor stated that it is continuing to work with Twitter’s work on its Facebook wall, although there are still issues to be sorted out. In particular the provision of user views for Russian accounts and improving Twitter’s response time to requests are points of contention for Roskomnadzor.
Turkmenistan to establish a tech sector
Turkmenistan aims to develop and establish an tech industry within the country. President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said that it is necessary to modernise the economy via economic diversification, especially via the tech sector. President Berdymukhamedov commissioned the government to develop the strategic direction of the program which must include a plan to establishment of a hi-tech manufacturing industry and the education of industry experts and technicians.
Russian Federation Council approves tough sentences for hackers
The Federation Council in Russia approved a bill which introduces tough criminal sentences for individuals who skim information from credit cards using contactless readers. Inexpensive card skimmers can be purchased online and used to extract the information from cards without contact. This is a big and increasing problem in Russia, as the rate of theft of money from bank cards is growing at a rate of 10% per year. Sentencing options are varied and can include up to 6 years imprisonment, large fines, or up to five years of correctional labour, with stricter sentences applying to groups of hackers. Electronic theft of data is a pressing problem for not only credit cards, but also for chip-enabled identification documents.