Russia's Federal Security Service has announced new requirements for protection of personal data, G7 leaders meet without Russia, UK consulates to register same sex marriage around the world, Yandex shares leap and fall after first day on Moscow stock market, Brazil's President defends World Cup organization, Germany opens inquiry into NSA tapping Angela Merkel's phone.
Russia's Federal Security Service has announced new requirements for protection of personal data: companies and their clients have to use special cryptographic measures, certified by the agency; RBC Daily notes that at this point of time some popular devices simply do not have such capabilities, such as the iPhone. Moreover, new requirements dictate that servers which store encrypted data have to be sealed during non-working hours and buildings housing them have to have physical protection, such as barred windows. According to the daily, most of these conditions are simply impossible to follow for the majority of internet companies. Overall, the amount of security measures to be taken depends on the threat levels of data, which are described in the Federal Law “On personal data,” with each organization choosing the level themselves. Certified ecnryption algorithms have to be developed in Russia – currently neither Android nor iOS support such methods; moreover, these programs cost money – around $50 per license.
On Wednesday a G7 meeting began in Brussels. Novye Izvestia reminds that the summit took place without Russia, which was excluded from the international discussion club uniting leading industrial nations of the world due to the controversial Ukraine crisis. The summit began Wednesday night and is to continue for two days. Despite Russia being absent from the discussion table, it certainly is one of the main agendas, the daily highlights. One of the key issues is potential economic sanctions against Moscow vis-a-vis the Ukraine situation. The article reminds that ahead of the summit Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that if the need arises, such sanctions will indeed be implemented; so far it is known that the United States supports sanctions. However, it's not clear whether other members of the G7 share the same point of view. What is clear is that some national business communities, including that of Germany, are openly against sanctions. The article also mentions that regardless of Russia's absence, G7 leaders will also communicate with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the coming days within the framework of other events, such as commemoration of 70th anniversary of WWII Normandy landings.
British consulate in Moscow will register same sex marriages of British citizens, Izvestia writes. The daily reports that as of June 3 the country's Foreign Ministry has allowed its consulates to other countries to register such marriages if local legislation does not allow it – that's a total of 23 countries. The daily notes that the decision was taken with consent of local authorities – after all, it only concerns British citizens. The newspaper talked with Igor Kochetkov, chairman of a Russian LGBT network, who said that this is standard practice regarding national legislation abroad, noting that it has no effect on the Russian LGBT movement. “We support this decision; even if citizens of a nation are located in another state they have to have a way to fulfill their rights.” A representative of the British embassy told the daily that the consulate will not register mixed marriages between citizens of Britain and Russia. The article reminds that Britain's same sex marriage law came into force mid-July 2013; however, registrations began only in March of 2014; Scotland soon followed with registrations starting this August.
The Moscow Times reports that shares in Russian search engine Yandex had a rollercoaster first day on the Moscow stock exchange, rising in early trading to exceed the company's New York share price by 36 percent before dropping back 25 percent by the day's end. The daily writes that after 35 minutes of trading in Moscow on Wednesday, shares in the company — whose 60 percent share in Russia's search engine market blows Google's 27 percent out of the water — were worth 1,549 rubles ($44), while on the Nasdaq exchange in New York they had ended the previous day's trading at $32.4 each.By the close of the Moscow Exchange, however, the share price had fallen to 1,250 rubles ($35.7) — 25 percent down, but still above the $33 share price on the Nasdaq at 8 p.m. Moscow time. Yandex raised $1.4 billion at its initial public offering in New York three years ago, and the company has said that the Moscow flotation will open up new sources of domestic funding.
With Brazil’s government facing heavy criticism over its preparations for the World Cup, the country's President Dilma Rousseff made a public statement regarding the controversy. The New York Times reports she defended loans from state banks for new stadiums for the soccer tournament and insisted that Brazilians planning to shun the event were a “small minority.” The daily reminds that as the start of this year’s World Cup on June 12 approaches, president Rousseff has to deal with a wave of strikes, a sluggish economy and a presidential race pitting her against rivals who have climbed in public opinion polls. While she is still viewed as a favorite in the October elections, her government has come under criticism over delays in finishing World Cup construction and an array of other stalled public works projects. The president vigorously defended her economic record in an interview at the presidential palace in the modernist capital, Brasília. She insisted that various measures showed that life had generally improved in Brazil.
In an unexpected move, Germany's federal prosecutor has opened an investigation into the alleged tapping of Angela Merkel's mobile phone by the US's National Security Agency (NSA), The Guardian writes. Federal prosecutor announced on Wednesday: "I informed parliament's legal affairs committee that I have started a preliminary investigation over tapping of a mobile phone of the chancellor." The daily reminds that Merkel had complained to Barack Obama in person about the alleged tapping of her phone last October, but the federal court's investigation, which will be against unnamed persons, would constitute the first formal response to the affair. The German government has reportedly announced its support for the investigation. The article explains that the court's decision comes as a surprise, not least since it appeared that both the German and the US governments had over recent months successfully calmed the waves stirred up by the revelations. For example, during Merkel's visit to Washington in May, the NSA affair had been largely sidelined by the Ukrainian crisis, and an attempt to invite Edward Snowden as a witness to the Bundestag's own inquiry into NSA surveillance appeared to have been successfully blocked by members of Merkel's own government, with the justification that an invitation would have put a "grave strain" on US-German relations.