24 May, 2016 The State Duma has approved the first reading of the draft law obliging Russian operators to keep records of conversations, text messages and media files sent by the subscribers, for a period of 3 years. This and other information, must be made available at the request of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Ministry of the Internal Affairs (MVD).
There are more than 250 million mobile subscribers in Russia, and the amount of information they exchange with each other amounts to billions of GB. According to the Institute "Giprosvyaz", if the bill is passed, in three years the volume of stored data will exceed 150 billion GB. This is 100,000 times more information than the cellular companies store now.
This requirement raises technical and budget questions associated with storing such huge content. VympelCom, one of ‘Big Three’ cell companies, has estimated the cost of storing data for three years at $31 billion. Megaphone has estimated $20.8 billion. In data centres (DPC) this amount of information will require 30.6 thousand racks, which is more than the total number of racks in all commercial data centres in Russia.
Telecom operators hope that the legislators will take into account their concerns and that the amount of data required for storage will be reduced. But in any event, cell companies will face considerable new challenges for the storage of information.
Today, all of the ‘Big Three’ mobile operators store subscribers’ data in their e-Archive — electronic archive of documents which is supplied by OSG Records Management. In e-Archive, staff can locate client contracts instantly.
Only officers of the FSB or MVD may seek access to calls and messages, and the law doesn’t stipulate any requirements for the speed of access. With this in mind, such data can be recorded on the magnetic discs and tapes, and then stored in backup tape storage centres. This requires far less resources than backup on servers.
OSG recommends that magnetic media is stored offsite. Magnetic media storage centres must be equipped with special shelves for fixing the hard discs, cassettes and tapes in a vertical position. The temperature in the magnetic storage should be maintained at 11°C, magnetic media inside the vault should be absolutely protected from high temperatures, direct sunlight and exposure to electromagnetic waves.