by Mike Masnick
Tue, Apr 15th 2008 7:49am
When WiFi was first becoming popular a few years back, there were occasional stories about countries that hadn't opened up the spectrum necessary for WiFi and how problematic that was for getting WiFi adopted. However, it looks like some bureaucrats in Russia may be taking the whole concept to a new level. Apparently, Russia's equivalent of the FCC, the Russian Mass Media, Communications and Cultural Protection Service (or Rossvyazokhrankultura) have announced that any device that uses WiFi indoors anywhere needs to be registered with the government. Even worse, the registration is per user with a non-transferable license. So every user of every WiFi device will need a separate registration. As Glenn Fleishman notes in the link above: "Setting up a home Wi-Fi network or a hotspot would require what sounds like vast amounts of paperwork, akin to putting [up] a cell tower." I'm sure that will increase adoption. From the sound of it, though, some are questioning whether the group even has the authority to make such a mandate. In the meantime, if you're in Russia and using WiFi, apparently you may want to get ready to sign some paperwork.
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