[tz] Error in the Time Zone Database

Serhii Demediuk serhii.demediuk at cyberpolice.gov.ua
Fri Dec 7 16:40:56 UTC 2018

Dear Paul,

We do not question your impartiality and disclaimer at the beginning of the file was well noted.
Also we fully support the principle of practicality and primacy of the facts on the ground.
It is absolutely clear that if occupational authorities in Crimea decided to change time zone, this becomes an obvious "fact on the ground" and it should be properly reflected in the database.

We only disagree with the fact that country code of Crimea was changed from "UA" to "RU" as a result of occupation.

Adequate precedent and example here is Northern Cyprus, which is occupied territory of Republic of Cyprus since 1974.

Despite the long-lasting occupation and unillateral declaration of independence in 1983, this part of Republic of Cyprus is still marked with proper country code, despite the fact that it had been moved to a different time zone by the turkish cypriot authorities.

In current version of "zone1970.tab" file we can see the following lines:
CY +3510+03322 Asia/Nicosia Cyprus (most areas)
CY +3507+03357 Asia/Famagusta Northern Cyprus

Your examples with "Asia/Seoul" and "Asia/Jerusalem" are significantly different from legal point of view and there is a number of reasons why both examples are not applicable to Crimea.

Our suggestion is to change line
"RU +4457+03406 Europe/Simferopol MSK+00 - Crimea" to
"UA +4457+03406 Europe/Simferopol MSK+00 - Crimea"

This will properly reflect situation from legal point of view without prejudice to practicality.

Best regards,
Head of the Cyberpolice Department of the National Police of Ukraine
Serhii Demediuk

tel.: +380443743738 <tel:+380443743738>
e-mail: serhii.demediuk at cyberpolice.gov.ua <mailto:serhii.demediuk at cyberpolice.gov.ua>
Ukraine, Kyiv

> 6 дек. 2018 г., в 22:05, Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu <mailto:eggert at cs.ucla.edu>> написал(а):
> On 12/5/18 11:21 AM, serhii.demediuk at cyberpolice.gov.ua <mailto:serhii.demediuk at cyberpolice.gov.ua> wrote:
>> the latest release of the time zone database (version from 10/26/2018), states that Crimea (Ukrainian Autonomous Republic of Crimea) belongs to the time zone "MSK" and is marked with the country code "RU".
> That marking is in the file zone1970.tab, which contains the following text:
> # This table is intended as an aid for users, to help them select timezones
> # appropriate for their practical needs.  It is not intended to take or
> # endorse any position on legal or territorial claims.
> And we're serious about this. We do not take any sides in territorial disputes such as the dispute Russia and Ukraine currently have over Crimea.
> The data for Europe/Simferopol, and the dispute over whether the file zone1970.tab should list its country code as "RU" or "UA", are like the data for Asia/Seoul, a city that zone1970.tab lists under South Korea ("KR") even though Seoul is claimed by North Korea ("KP") as an integral part of its territory. There are similar disputes over other tzdb entries, notably Asia/Jerusalem. Cases like these are resolved by the general principle that the time zone database is intended for practical use, and as a practical matter when people use time zone data they typically want to know the facts on the ground even when these are not the facts as they ought to be.

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