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The universal electronic card has stumbled about the Russian IC

From 2012 citizens of Russia would be provided with a new core  document — a universal electronic card. The president of the country has already given necessary commissions.

However there is no full clearness: whether it will be possible to furnish the Russian card with the Russian IT stuffing. From 2012 citizens of Russia would be provided with a new core  document — an universal electronic card. The president of the country has already given necessary commissions.

However there is no full clearness: whether it will be possible to furnish the Russian card with the Russian IT stuffing. We can remind  that subject conversations on UEC introduction have begun in the beginning of last year. And in the summer 2010 Sberbank, banks "Uralsib" and «Ak BARS» have created Open Society «Universal electronic card» (UEC) for introduction of uniform information-payment system and creation of the uniform identification, payment and information tool. UEC’s shareholder capital reaches 100 million rubles.

According to BFM.ru the company "Sitronics" that takes part in the development of UEC confirms that this card, besides becoming a payment application, should carry out functions of the personal identification instrument, a transport card, a card for reception of preferential state services and for interaction with «the electronic government». Thus UEC will have two basic differences from banking cards — it will possess the built in operating system, allowing to add applets depending on requirements of region and to have a hardware realized crypto-kernel, supporting domestic algorithm of crypto protection.

«UEC is created on the basis of an available range of microcircuits for the protected smart cards and passport and visa documents, therefore completion concerns basically an operating system of the IC which is realized in a so-called ROM-mask of the IC, has told to BFM.ru the marketing  director of «Sitronics Microelectronics» Karina Abagjan. — Technical requirements to UEC have been definitively defined only by the end of 2010, therefore the IC will be made in March of the current year. But the main time will be spent not on IC completion, but on the process of its certification as a banking card according to EMV standards that lasts usually from 6 to 12 months. And the basic time will be occupied not so much by the certification of the IC as itself but by the certification of its manufacturing process: it is necessary to build a proper processes, to show and prove that it is impossible to interrupt and "withdraw" a part of the information and etc.» .

It is necessary to highlight, that  the recognition of a card as the means of payment operating not only in Russia, but also abroad, is one of Dmitry Medvedev's basic requirements to UEC:« UEC should be the high-grade document recognized abroad, instead of being a purely homebrew product as it was the case with banking cards of some the Russian banks, that had limited circulation and in the end left the market ». Performance of the president at commission session was reduced, as a matter of fact, to the commission to the government of the Russian Federation concerning realization of project UEC. First of all Dmitry Medvedev has given the task to finish working out of corresponding legal base which should be ready by the  summer of the current year. Among the main ones can be listed the law « About electronic signature »which is already on the State Parliament consideration, and also the regulatory legal acts, concerning technical requirements to UEC and to its electronic appendices. Thus the president of the Russian Federation has declared that« We should operate quickly, instead of being guided by the development of any products or components within the country. Upon release of those or other elements of the UEC integrated scheme we will take the decision of them and make appropriate replacements ».

Most likely, Dmitry Medvedev meant a course of performance of works on creation of UEC IC which, as he said, should be certificated, on what time is required. «There are two tracks that need to go in parallel. One of them — creation of the card. The second — development of an IC, — was declared by Dmitry Medvedev. — and whether it will be a purely Russian or international technologies  used as a basis — is not so important» . One more assignment of the president of the Russian Federation concerned the issue of creation of the infrastructure necessary for circulation of UEC. According to his opinion, in each region there should be enough equipment , simple and easy to understand by citizens.« Regional plans of UEC introduction need to be developed taking in consideration positive and negative experience of regional social cards projects that have already been realized — Medvedev has noted. Besides, project UEC has to provide the possibility of use of these cards for the organization of dialogue of citizens with the state and the companies through the computers. Cards-readers are required for the resolution of this problem.

Such devices, according to Medvedev, should be not expensive, and the software for them should be for free. In addition to it he has charged to ministers to think of expansion of the scale training program on preparation of citizens for use UEC. Naturally, at commission session speech some financial issues have been revealed.« It is necessary to count the project economy. It is interesting to banks and financial structures. They, certainly, will support it, — Dmitry Medvedev has noticed. — but it is necessary to define and state financing volume. This task, including a substantiation of expenses, should be completed by the government  by May, 1st 2011 so that necessary expenses could be included in the country budget for 2012 ». Earlier expenses on creation and introduction in Russia of a UEC were estimated by the Ministry of Economics in 135-165 bln roubles (4.5-5.5 bln USA dollars) within five years.

It was thus supposed that banks will spend on release of cards about 40 bln roubles during 5 years. By the way, while speaking about economy, probably the use of the foreign IC will costs to the Russian economy more than a  creation of a domestic one. « Sitronics» has refused to name volume of investments on UEC development. « I can tell that thanks to the closed-loop production cycle — all stages of creation of a card: from design of the IC before release of a ready card, are carried out on "Micron". We can offer very competitive cost and high security, has declared Karina Abagjan. — Besides, in comparison with the western solution where the IC crypto protection is realized on a program basis, we win costs as our crypto protection is realized on a hardware basis, it’s cheaper and is more productive than a program realization ». However, it’s not just about money. According to Karina Abagjan, on the imported IC a foreign operational system should work which was developped by the various companies.« And we cannot guarantee that there are no "bookmarks" and that nobody will receive access to the data on the IC », — has declared Abagjan. In her opinion, it’s just about using one of those concepts: use domestic hardware cryptoprotection or foreign program crypto protection. According to Karina Abagjan, advantages of the first variant all are obvious.

Therefore during the current year in pilot regions where the corresponding UEC infrastructure will be ready, cards based on foreign ICs will start to circulate but  will be replaced once the certification of domestic samples will be completed. As a whole, economic parameters of UEC project will become clear only in the summer of current year, and its budgetary financing will begin in 2012. Nevertheless, the authorities hurry and are ready even to additional expenses if needed, in case of use of a foreign IC in UEC development . Term of start of works on coverage of the population of the country by cards remains former — the beginning of next year. Probably that such haste is connected with desire of the authorities to conduct scale tests of universal cards, for example, at elections of 2012. However, it is not excluded that high-ranking officials do not trust the Russian business. In particular, in a decision of hi-tech problems. Especially after demonstration to prime minister Vladimir Putin «the Russian analogue of iPhone» which has in fact appeared not to be an absolute analogue and completely not Russian.

Source: http://www.bfm.ru




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