IV. Governance issues
A federal draft on Access to Information has been pending in Russia since 1997; however, on April 18, 2007, a draft on Providing of Access to the Information on Activity of the State Bodies and Institutions of Local Government passed the first of three readings in the Russian Parliament. The new Law on Information (LIITPI) began to partly regulate citizens‚Äô right to access to information.
According to the federal Law on Information, Information Technologies and the Protection of Information (LITPI), governmental data resources are open for general use except for confidential information stipulated by federal laws. The law prohibits any limitations of access to information about activities of governmental structures, legislation related to human rights and freedoms, environment and public libraries.1
Russia is a member of the Council of Europe (CoE) and has signed and ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.2 The Russian Federation has signed and ratified the CoE Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (ETS No. 108).3
Russia participated in the negotiations on the CoE Convention on Cybercrime which was opened for signature in November 23, 2001.4 The Convention requires Member States to establish criminal offences under their domestic laws regarding various computer or computer-related crimes, including unauthorized access to a computer system and unauthorized interception of a data transmission. As of May 2007, Russia has not yet signed the treaty.
Autonomous Russian Republics
The Constitutions of 16 republics of Russian Federation reproduce Articles 23, 24 and 25 of the Federal Constitution. Constitutions of Bashkortostan and Ingushetya stipulate the same guarantees with different wording. The Constitution of Bashkortostan incorporates the addendum, allowing a search only on the basis of a judicial warrant. In other cases, there are fewer privacy safeguards than in the federal Constitution, or even no safeguards at all (Karelia, Kalmykia). There are no essential differences between the constitutions of the republics and federal privacy guarantees.5
- 1. Email from Sergei Smirnov, Human Rights Network, Russia, to Allison Knight, Research Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center, May 31, 2007 (on file with EPIC).
- 2. http://conventions.coe.int/
- 3. http://conventions.coe.int/
- 4. http://conventions.coe.int/
- 5. http://privacy.hro.org/docs/report2005