Reports: Wi-Fi users to be monitored in Russia

Business travellers to Russia might want to keep their laptops and iPhones well-concealed

Registration for personal devices is said to take 10 days, but registering a hotspot - including a home network - is more complicated, involving a set of documents and technological certifications.

Any networks in Moscow or St. Petersburg need the additional approval of two federal agencies, Karpov said.

"Setting up a home Wi-Fi network or a hotspot would require what sounds like vast amounts of paperwork, akin to putting a cell tower," commented wireless pundit Glenn Fleishman, in a blog post.

Even if Rossvyazokhrankultura fails to follow up on enforcing these rules, its comments are unlikely to improve Russia's image as a haven mainly for technology of a criminal nature.

In February, Sophos found that the country now deserves the moniker of 'spam superpower' having seen its share of total volumes rise dramatically over the last year, to put it in firmly in second place behind arch-rival, the US.

Russia is already prominent for other types of Internet criminality, such as malware and exploits, boosted by the near-mythical super-network, the Russian Business Network, which supposedly went out of business in November.

Techworld's John Dunn contributed to this report.

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Matthew Broersma

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