Database

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TURKMENISTAN

Reported in 2022

Pillar Content access  |  Sub-pillar Presence of Internet shutdowns
Presence of Internet shutdowns
The indicator "6.2.4 - Government Internet shut down in practice" of the V-Dem Dataset, which measures whether the government has the technical capacity to actively make internet service cease, thus interrupting domestic access to the internet or whether the government has decided to do so, has a score of 1 in Turkmenistan. This corresponds to "The government shut down domestic access to the Internet numerous times this year."
Coverage Horizontal

TURKMENISTAN

Reported in 2021, last reported in 2023

Pillar Intermediary liability  |  Sub-pillar User identity requirement
Mandatory SIM card registration
It is reported that Turkmenistan imposes an identity requirement for SIM registration. Anyone wanting to purchase a SIM card has to provide their national ID card, or a passport in case of foreigners, to activate a new prepaid SIM card.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TURKMENISTAN

N/A

Pillar Intermediary liability  |  Sub-pillar Safe harbor for intermediaries for copyright infringement
Lack of intermediary liability framework in place for copyright infringements
A basic legal framework on intermediary liability for copyright infringement is absent in Turkmenistan's law and jurisprudence. However, there is a limited protection for telecom operators under Art. 50.2 of the Law of Turkmenistan No. 93-IV About communication (Türkmenistanyň Kanuny № 93-IV Aragatnaşyk hakynda), which establishes that the telecom operators are not responsible for the content of information transmitted by their networks.
Coverage Internet intermediaries

TURKMENISTAN

N/A

Pillar Intermediary liability  |  Sub-pillar Safe harbor for intermediaries for any activity other than copyright infringement
Lack of intermediary liability framework in place beyond copyright infringements
A basic legal framework on intermediary liability beyond copyright infringement is absent in Turkmenistan's law and jurisprudence. However, there is a limited protection for telecom operators under Art. 50.2 of the Law of Turkmenistan No. 93-IV About communication (Türkmenistanyň Kanuny № 93-IV Aragatnaşyk hakynda), which establishes that the telecom operators are not responsible for the content of information transmitted by their networks.
Coverage Internet intermediaries

TURKMENISTAN

Since March 2021, last amended in December 2021
Since August 2015, until March 2021

Pillar Domestic Data policies  |  Sub-pillar Minimum period for data retention
Law of Turkmenistan No. 335-VI About Counteraction of Legalization of Income Gained in the Criminal Way, to Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Distribution of Weapons of Mass Destruction (Türkmenistanyň kanuny № 335-VI Jenaýatçylykly ýol bilen alnan girdejileriň kanunlaşdyrylmagyna, terrorçylygyň maliýeleşdirilmegine we köpçülikleýin gyryş ýaragynyň ýaýradylmagynyň maliýeleşdirilmegine garşy hereket etmek hakynda)

Law of Turkmenistan No. 261-V About Counteraction of Legalization of Income Gained in the Criminal Way, to Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Distribution of Weapons of Mass Destruction (Türkmenistanyň kanuny № 261-V Jenaýatçylykly ýol bilen alnan girdejileriň kanunlaşdyrylmagyna we terrorçylygyň maliýeleşdirilmegine garşy hereket etmek hakynda)
Art. 12.6 of Law No. 335-VI provides that documents and information obtained as a result of due diligence of the client, including the client's information and correspondence with the client, documents and information on operations or transactions with cash or other property subject to mandatory control and suspicious transactions, as well as the results of the examination of all complex, unusually large and other unusual operations or transactions shall be kept by the persons carrying out the operations for a period of at least five years after the operation or transaction.
Art. 4 states that persons carrying out operations shall include, among others, natural or legal persons providing money or value transfer services; virtual asset service providers; organisers of trades and auctions; individuals and legal entities that are organisers of gambling, lotteries and electronic interactive games; and postal and telegraphic communication organisations providing money transfer services and other organisations carrying out settlements or payments.
Law No. 261-V ceased to be valid since the adoption of Law No. 335-V, however it already incorporated the above-mentioned restriction also in its Art. 12.6.
Coverage Horizontal

TURKMENISTAN

Since March 2020
Since May 2013, last amended in March 2023

Pillar Domestic Data policies  |  Sub-pillar Minimum period for data retention
Law of Turkmenistan No. 226-VI About the Electronic Document, Electronic Document Management and Digital Services (Türkmenistanyň kanuny № 226-VI elektron resminama, elektron resminama dolanyşygy we sanly hyzmatlar hakynda)

Law of Turkmenistan No. 392-IV About Archives and Archiving of Turkmenistan (Türkmenistanyň kanuny № 392-IV Türkmenistanyň arhiwleri we arhiw işi hakynda)
Art. 13 of Law No. 226-VI contains provisions for storing electronic documents and archives of electronic documents. Electronic documents must be stored on an electronic storage medium in a form that allows their integrity and authenticity to be verified on the applicable medium. The obligation to store electronic documents lies with the involved parties of electronic document management. This includes any party, whether public or private, that owns the documents, or in whose interests they are to be used, or by whom they are to be stored, protected, blocked or removed, and so forth. Subjects of electronic document management can ensure the storage of electronic documents independently and use the services of an intermediary, archival and other institutions in electronic document management. In addition, Art. 56 provides that the body considering disputes between the subjects of electronic documents, electronic document flow and digital services shall have the right to demand from all subjects involved in the compilation, transmission, receipt, processing and storage of electronic documents the necessary materials and documents concerning the subject of the dispute.
Art. 20 of Law No. 392-IV requires documents in electronic form to be retained for three years.
Coverage Horizontal

TURKMENISTAN

Since March 2017, entry into force in July 2017

Pillar Domestic Data policies  |  Sub-pillar Framework for data protection
Law of Turkmenistan No. 519-V About Information on Private Life and its Protection (Türkmenistanyň kanuny № 519-V şahsy durmuş barada maglumat we ony goramak hakynda)
Act No. 519-V provides a comprehensive regime of data protection in Turkmenistan. It provides for data subject rights, data controller obligations, data transfer restrictions, and general principles for the collection and processing of personal information. It does not, however, contain data breach notification requirements, nor does it address the appointment of data protection officers. In addition to Act No. 519-V, the Code for Criminal Liability of 10 May 2010 No. 104-IV provides protection against cybercrimes, and further provisions applicable to data protection can be found in other legislation such as the Code of Turkmenistan of 29 August 2013 No. 422-IV on Administrative Offenses.
Coverage Horizontal

TURKMENISTAN

Since March 2017, entry into force in July 2017

Pillar Cross-border data policies  |  Sub-pillar Conditional flow regime
Law of Turkmenistan No. 519-V About Information on Private Life and its Protection (Türkmenistanyň kanuny № 519-V şahsy durmuş barada maglumat we ony goramak hakynda)
According to Art. 17.2 of Law No. 519-V, the transborder transfer of personal data to the territory of foreign countries shall only take place if the protection of personal data is guaranteed by those countries. Furthermore, Art. 17.3. points out that the cross-border transfer of personal data to the territory of foreign countries that do not ensure the protection of personal data may be carried out in the following cases: 1) if the data subject has given his/her written consent to the cross-border transfer of his personal data; 2) if it is provided for by international agreements approved by Turkmenistan; 3) if provided by the laws of Turkmenistan, if it is necessary for the purposes of protecting the principles of constitutional structure, human and civil rights and freedoms, public health and morals, public order, protecting the country and ensuring state security; 4) to protect the life, health, other legal interests, constitutional rights and freedoms of the data subject or other persons, if it is not possible to obtain the data subject's consent. Otherwise, pursuant to Art. 17.4, the international transfer of personal data abroad may be prohibited or restricted by the legislation of Turkmenistan.
Coverage Horizontal

TURKMENISTAN

N/A

Pillar Cross-border data policies  |  Sub-pillar Participation in trade agreements committing to open cross-border data flows
Lack of participation in agreements with binding commitments on data flows
Turkmenistan has not joined any agreement with binding commitments to open transfers of data across borders.
Coverage Horizontal

TURKMENISTAN

N/A

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Signature of the WTO Telecom Reference Paper
Lack of appendment of WTO Telecom Reference Paper to schedule of commitments
Turkmenistan has not appended the World Trade Organization (WTO) Telecom Reference Paper to its schedule of commitments. In fact, Turkmenistan is not a member of the WTO.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TURKMENISTAN

N/A

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Presence of independent telecom authority
Lack of an independent telecom authority
Turkmenistan has a telecommunications authority: Agency for Transport and Communications (Turkmenaragatnashyk). However, the decision making process of this entity is not fully independent from the government given that it is governed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TURKMENISTAN

N/A

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Functional/accounting separation for operators with significant market power
Lack of mandatory functional and accounting separation for dominant network operators
Turkmenistan does not mandate functional or accounting separation for operators with significant market power (SMP) in the telecom market.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TURKMENISTAN

Since March 2010, last amended in November 2021
Since December 2019, last amended in June 2023

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Other restrictions to operate in the telecom market
Law of Turkmenistan No. 93-IV About Communications (Türkmenistanyň aragatnaşyk baradaky kanuny - № 93-IV)

Law No. 205-VI of Turkmenistan On Licensing of Certain Types of Activities (Türkmenistanyň Kanuny № 205-VI Işiň aýry-aýry görnüşlerini ygtyýarlylandyrmak hakynda)
Art. 22.19 of Law No. 205-VI of Turkmenistan "On licensing of certain types of activities" provides that communications activities must be licensed. According to Art. 3 of Law No. 205-VI, foreign natural and legal persons (including their branches) and stateless persons are entitled to obtain a license under the same conditions and procedures as natural and legal persons of Turkmenistan. Art. 47.1 of Law No. 93-IV provides that telecommunications operators are obliged to carry out activities in the field of licensed communications. Despite the regime appearing to be non-discriminatory in the regulatory texts, it is reported that the government exercises tight control and significant management over the country's telecommunications sector. Currently, only one major mobile telecommunications company is operating in the country, namely Altyn Asyr, a subsidiary of the state-owned Türkmenaragatnaşyk. In addition, it is reported that only one foreign provider received a license in the past, namely Mobile Telesystems of Russia. However, the licence was not renewed in September 2017, resulting in its disconnection from the country's network.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TURKMENISTAN

Since March 2010, last amended in November 2021

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Maximum foreign equity share for investment in the telecommunication sector
Law of Turkmenistan No. 93-IV about Communications (Türkmenistanyň Kanuny Aragatnaşyk hakynda - № 93-IV)
It is reported that there is tight state control of the economy, and the government has only allowed significant foreign ownership and foreign direct investment in the energy sector. Therefore, foreign ownership in the telecom sector is restricted. In addition, Art. 16 of the Law about Communications states that government, postal and courier communications, technical means and networks of telecommunications used for defence, national security, protection of the State border and law and order, as well as technical means of national television and radio broadcasting and the enterprises ensuring their operation and development, belong exclusively to State ownership.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

TURKMENISTAN

N/A

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Presence of shares owned by the government in telecom companies
Presence of shares owned by the government in the telecom sector
The government owns shares in certain telecom companies. In particular, it owns shares in: Turkmentelekom TC, which is a fully state-owned enterprise; Ashgabat City Telephone Network, with a 30% of participation of the Ministry of Communications of Turkmenistan and a 60% of Turkmentelekom; Altyn Asir CJSC (TMcell), which is fully owned by the Ministry of Communications of Turkmenistan.
Coverage Telecommunications sector