Liability for damaging telecom networks has been increased tenfold, – EBA

20/ 05/ 2020
  Last week, the Verkhovna Rada adopted as a basis and as a whole Draft Law No.2654 on strengthening administrative and criminal liability for damaging telecommunications networks. These include, for example, theft of equipment and cutting of telecommunication cables, which lead to a partial or total suspension in providing telecommunication services, access to the Internet, etc. Thus, intentional damage or destruction of the telecommunications network or technical means of telecommunications, telecommunications facilities, etc. will be sanctioned with a fine of 17 thousand UAH to 51 thousand UAH (previously, from 1700 to 3400 UAH), or community service for up to 120 hours, or restriction of freedom for a term of 1 to 3 years. For repeated violation or prior conspiracy, the fine ranges from 51 thousand UAH to 170 thousand UAH or imprisonment for a term of 3 to 5 years. If the violations caused significant property damage (over UAH 17,000) or caused serious consequences (termination of telecom services for critical infrastructure), the fine is from UAH 255,000 to UAH 425,000 or imprisonment for a term of 6 up to 8 years. Also, administrative liability for violating the rules of protection of telecom networks was strengthened. Business welcomes this decision as it will prevent the cases of damaging telecommunication networks, which is especially important at a time when the country, like the rest of the world, has switched into digital. Therefore, the work of many businesses, government agencies, etc. depends on the availability of the Internet and telephone communication. Given that the number of damages to telecommunications equipment has increased during the quarantine period, this could lead to failures/shutdowns of some operations. Therefore, the European Business Association thanks the Verkhovna Rada for supporting the draft law and promptly responding to appeals of the business. At the same time, the community expects the document to be signed by the President of Ukraine as soon as possible for the law to enter into force.

Last week, the Verkhovna Rada adopted as a basis and as a whole Draft Law No.2654 on strengthening administrative and criminal liability for damaging telecommunications networks. These include, for example, theft of equipment and cutting of telecommunication cables, which lead to a partial or total suspension in providing telecommunication services, access to the Internet, etc.

Thus, intentional damage or destruction of the telecommunications network or technical means of telecommunications, telecommunications facilities, etc. will be sanctioned with a fine of 17 thousand UAH to 51 thousand UAH (previously, from 1700 to 3400 UAH), or community service for up to 120 hours, or restriction of freedom for a term of 1 to 3 years. For repeated violation or prior conspiracy, the fine ranges from 51 thousand UAH to 170 thousand UAH or imprisonment for a term of 3 to 5 years. If the violations caused significant property damage (over UAH 17,000) or caused serious consequences (termination of telecom services for critical infrastructure), the fine is from UAH 255,000 to UAH 425,000 or imprisonment for a term of 6 up to 8 years. Also, administrative liability for violating the rules of protection of telecom networks was strengthened.

Business welcomes this decision as it will prevent the cases of damaging telecommunication networks, which is especially important at a time when the country, like the rest of the world, has switched into digital. Therefore, the work of many businesses, government agencies, etc. depends on the availability of the Internet and telephone communication. Given that the number of damages to telecommunications equipment has increased during the quarantine period, this could lead to failures/shutdowns of some operations.

Therefore, the European Business Association thanks the Verkhovna Rada for supporting the draft law and promptly responding to appeals of the business. At the same time, the community expects the document to be signed by the President of Ukraine as soon as possible for the law to enter into force.

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