Russia Government Bans Acquisition of Foreign Data Storage Devices

The Russian Government has recently approved of a ban on the procurement and use of memory storage units from overseas, said Global Compliance News. Signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the prohibition will cover supplies and leases for government and municipal use, as well as for most data storage systems from foreign states. The law was signed last month and will be in effect for 2 years.

According to a report by Russian Business Today, the order was introduced in a move to “ensure the security of critical information infrastructure of the Russian Federation.” Moreover, the decision aims to reinforce the cybersecurity of state-used electronic systems. It also seeks to support local hardware and software manufacturers.

Global Compliance News noted that the ban will operate under the all-Russia classifier, specifically code 25.20.2. The classifier categorizes products depending on the type of economic activity they are used for.

Russia Government Bans Foreign Data Storage Devices


The report also clarified that the prohibition will not apply to systems listed in the unified storage register of Russian radio-electronic devices. The Register exempts devices that are manufactured by a Russian legal entity. The manufacturer should also not be controlled by any foreign entities and must hold pertinent technology rights, engineering, and design documentation, as well as software that allow for the production of the devices for at least 5 years.

The Register also indicated that any foreign component shares should be gradually decreased down to 15% by 2025 at the latest.

This move is consistent with the law signed by President Vladimir Putin in May 2019. The bill sought to “provide stable operation of the national Internet system in case of disconnection from the global network,” explained Russian Business Today.

Steps were taken to ensure such protection include the installation of a national system for Internet traffic with the use of servers. These servers are utilized for the primary reason of avoiding threats to the country that may result in it being cut off from the World Wide Web.

The so-called ‘sovereign internet’ was tested toward the end of December 2019. The test evaluated the security of the infrastructure in the event of a cyberattack from a foreign entity.


Meanwhile, activists have issued warnings that such moves could impose tight censorship and online isolation to residents of the country.

Other pertinent laws signed by Putin include a bill that required manufacturers to pre-install Russian software in products such as smartphones, computers and smart TVs.