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Russian surveillance measures could cost telephone companies $156B

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Complying with new surveillance measures recently approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin may cost the nation’s telecommunication companies upwards of $156 billion — about 450 percent more than previously estimated — according to the CEO of a Moscow-based data storage company.

Included within a suite of security measures signed by Mr. Putin last month are new rules that will require telecoms to keep digital copies of their customers’ conversations for six months starting next year. While experts have previously estimated that companies will have to invest a total of about 2.2 trillion rubles ($34 billion) on the necessary eavesdropping equipment and storage space, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper on Friday put the actual cost at nearly five times that amount.

Denis Neshtun of data-storage company RCNTEC told the newspaper that Russia’s telecom can expect to spend a total of up to $156 billion, or 10 trillion rubes, on equipment and upkeep.

That price tag would likely shrink if the cost of digital storage does the same as expected, but would nonetheless impose a significant financial burden on the nation’s telecoms, he said. – READ MORE

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