Representatives of the three factions have made amendments to the Federal Law providing for mandatory identification of users in instant messengers, according to Russian media reports

The document that was submitted to Russia’s lower house (State Duma) of parliament by representatives of United Russia, Just Russia and the Communist Party obligates the organizer of instant messaging to ensure the transmission of messages only to those users identified in accordance with the law.

It is proposed to carry out identification of users using the subscriber number.  To do this, you need an agreement on identification, concluded by the organizer of instant messaging with the operator of communication.

Also, the deputies propose to oblige messengers to provide a technical opportunity to refuse to receive electronic messages from other users, to provide the possibility of sending electronic messages on the initiative of state authorities.

The draft law provides for the operator to limit access to messengers on the basis of a decision of the authorized federal executive body adopted on the basis of a final and binding court decision.

The provisions recorded in the document reportedly coincide with the amendments that the Media Communication Union developed at the end of last year.  

Meanwhile, Russian RT news agency noted that the country’s main media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, confirmed on May 2 that the messengers are unavailable any more in Russia.

The addresses of these services on the register of restricted websites, the press secretary of body, Vadim Ampelonsky, told RIA Novosti.

Under Russia’s data privacy law passed last year, all companies processing the personal data of Russian citizens are obliged to store it on servers within the country’s borders for a half of the year and provide it to law enforcement if necessary.  The regulator sends the companies a request to comply with the law and therefore approves or bans their services.

According to Roskomnadzor’s website, three of the blocked services – BlackBerry Messenger, Line and Vchat, were added to the restricted list on April 28.  Imo was banned 10 days earlier, on April 18.

Earlier in April Roskomnadzor blocked Zello app that works like a walkie talkie on smartphones.  The app had more than 400,000 active users in Russia, according to the regulator.

Last year world's largest business and employment oriented social network LinkedIn became the first foreign company blocked by the regulator after it failed to comply with the rules. The company, which had around 5 million people registered in Russia, has tried to settle the issue with the officials, but the sides failed to come to any agreement and the network remains blocked.