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Russia to monitor wi-fi use

Australia’s Computerworld reports that Rossvyazokhrankultura, the Russian Mass Media, Communications and Cultural Protection Service, has a draconian-sounding policy of registration being required for every wi-fi device and hotspot in the country, according to a report this week from Russian news agency Fontanka.

Vladimir Karpov, the deputy director of the agency’s communications monitoring division, said that Rossvyazokhrankultura’s interpretation of current law holds that users must register any electronics that use the frequency involved in wi-fi communications.

Aside from public hotspots, the registration requirement also applies to home networks, laptops, smart phones and wi-fi-enabled PDAs, Karpov is reported to have said, and registration only permits use by the owner. Quite where this leaves travellers taking their laptops or other wireless devices is not mentioned, but for Russian residents this move looks like involving lots of paperwork, bureaucracy and delay.

Read the full story on Computerworld.