Why does Russia want to ban officials from using WhatsApp and Skype?

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Russian legislators are even worried about encrypted communication systems, since IT security experts believe they may contain backdoors to which secret services may have access. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA SINELSCHIKOVA, RBTH – June 6, 2016) Russian deputies, ministers and members of the armed forces may soon find they are unable to use popular instant messaging services […]

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RBTH: Cable wars: Can Russia really cut the jugular?

Both the U.S. and Russia have the means to clip undersea cables but don’t worry, unless there’s a full on war, your internet surfing won’t be interrupted. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – RAKESH KRISHNAN SIMHA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – December 9, 2015) There are more than 285 cables crossing the world’s oceans, with the entire network spanning over […]

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Interfax: “Refusal of U.S. Senate to restrict NSA powers marks decline of democracy – Pushkov”

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 19 (Interfax) – Head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee is disappointed that the U.S. Senate decided against considering legislation restricting the powers of the National Security Agency (NSA). “The U.S. Senate turned down the bill limiting the spying activeness of NSA. In this way liberties are sacrificed to total control. The decline of democracy,” he twitted […]

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Can Russia Disconnect From The Internet?

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(RFE/RL – Luke Johnson – October 02, 2014) After chairing a meeting of the Russian Security Council on October 1, President Vladimir Putin insisted the Kremlin was not planning to limit access to the Internet or put it under total state control. The authorities would, however, take additional measures to increase cybersecurity and continue to shut down sites promoting extremism, xenophobia, […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine’s Ultra-Nationalist Right Sector Launches Mobile App to Organize Tactics

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, April 10 (RIA Novosti) – Right Sector, a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist movement and illegally armed militia, now has a smartphone application which allows it to organize its tactics, according to the Vocativ news website. The Right Sector app can be downloaded on the Google Play market for Android devices and was released last week, according to the Google Play store. […]

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Minister Sees End to U.S. IT Purchases

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 27, 2014) U.S. spying could cost software companies said Communications and Mass Media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov, in a message attached to an Instagram shot of a recent Wall Street Journal article detailing renewed U.S interest in spying on Russia. “U.S. security services have put an end to the further use of U.S. computer software […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Press Conference with President Obama and Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands [excerpts re Russia]

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – For Immediate Release – March 25, 2014) Gemeentemuseum Den Haag The Hague, The Netherlands Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  You’ve been criticized during this dispute with Russia as not understanding President Putin’s motivations.  As recently as last month, you and others in your administration said you thought Putin was reflecting […]

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Duma considers expanding security agencies’ surveillance tactics on the web

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – January 17, 2014) Russian MPs want to step up counterterrorism measures to include more control over what the Internet. The powers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) will be expanded, electronic payments in the Russian segment of the Internet will come under stricter regulations and, overall, state control […]

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Interfax: Moscow backs idea of Internet’s international regulation – Lavrov

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KYIV. Dec 5 (Interfax) – Moscow supports the idea of the Internet’s international regulation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “I think our organization should think about its role in ensuring the people’s rights in cyberspace,” Lavrov said at a ministerial session of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Kyiv on Thursday. “This concerns the problem […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian Government Communications Reliably Protected – Spokesman

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, October 30, 2013) The Russian president’s spokesman Dmitriy Peskov thinks that the existing government telecommunications in the country ensure the protection of the security of conversations between the first persons of the country. “We have government telecommunications which ensure the necessary level of confidentiality and security of conversations. And measures to ensure that security is at […]

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Interfax: Lavrov believes most world leaders knew they were tapped by U.S. special services

Sergei Lavrov file photo

ATHENS. Oct 30 (Interfax) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes most of the key world political leaders were aware of being tapped by U.S. special services. “I even feel somewhat bored to comment on this. In fact, I am sure that everyone knew everything or at least had such suspicions. And all this fuss is being made now just […]

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FSB wants to record Internet communications

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yaroslava Kiryukhina, RBTH – October 23, 2013) Just several months after granting temporary asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Russia prepares to implement electronic surveillance that looks similar to the infamous PRISM. But is it actually the same? Russia’s Communications Ministry has drafted an order that would require Internet providers to install monitoring […]

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Russian MPs Downplay New Internet Surveillance Plans, Activist Alarmed

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

(RIA Novosti – October 21, 2013) Russian State Duma MPs have downplayed the significance of the Communications Ministry’s draft decree requiring internet service providers to install equipment for storing internet traffic and sharing it with the Federal Security Service (FSB), Russian news agencies reported on 21 October. The Russian heavyweight liberal newspaper Kommersant reported earlier on the same day that […]

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Russian Telecoms Giant Slams New Surveillance Powers – Paper

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 21, 2013) A Russian telecommunications giant has slammed government plans to give security services complete access to all Internet traffic by the middle of 2014, calling them unconstitutional, Kommersant newspaper reported Monday. The daily cited a letter submitted by mobile operator Vimpelcom to the Press and Communications Ministry as saying the proposed legislation violated fundamental […]

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Special services not able to access Internet traffic without court ruling – Communications Ministry

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 21, 2013) The Communications Ministry’s draft decree on the special services’ access to Internet traffic is not a novelty and does not contradict Russian legislation,” the ministry press service told Interfax on Monday. “This decree is not new. Besides, it doesn’t regulate the procedure governing the provision of Internet users’ data to the special services,” the […]

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Russian Mobile Revolution Sparks Fight for Network Orders

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Adam Ewing, Ilya Khrennikov & Marie Mawad – July 15, 2013) Russian mobile carriers are gearing up for about $13 billion in spending to boost data speeds, creating the next major battleground for network suppliers. Russia is, by land mass, the largest country in the world, making it potentially tremendously lucrative for makers of equipment such […]

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Germans Hail Snowden as NSA Evokes Stasi Seizing Lives of Others

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Cornelius Rahn & Leon Mangasarian – July 10, 2013) Willi Kuhlmann remembers the day the Berlin Wall was erected on Aug. 13, 1961, and how the system of spying on East German citizens by secret police known as the Stasi intensified. His experience as a border guard along the Wall that divided Germany’s capital city for […]

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Looking for Snowden in ‘The Terminal’

Edward Snowden file photo

(Moscow News/RIA Novosti – themosconews.com – Dmitry Vinogradov, RIA Novosti – June 27, 2013)  SHEREMETYEVO ­ A burlesque of Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal is being staged in Terminal E of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. Hordes of journalists flocked to the airport in the last several days hoping to find Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower who emerged into the global spotlight after […]

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After Years Of Secret Tapes, Georgia Mulls How To Destroy Them

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Nona Mchedlishvili – June 17, 2013) How do you make a secret disappear? That’s the question Georgian officials and activists are mulling as they consider a stash of legally dubious phone and video recordings made by the Interior Ministry, mainly under the rule of President Mikheil Saakashvili. The current Interior Minister Irakli Garibashvili has pledged to […]

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Moscow has questions about personal data leak in U.S. – Foreign Ministry

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 19, 2013) The leak of personal data requested by U.S. security services will be discussed at bilateral meetings of Russia and the United States, Russian Foreign Ministry Representative for Human Rights Konstantin Dolgov said. “We have questions to ask the United States and these issues will not be overlooked in bilateral contacts with the U.S. This […]

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PRISM and SORM: Big Brother is watching

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(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Kristen Blyth – June 17, 2013) George Orwell’s “1984” was, when it was published, purely a work of fiction. “There was, of course, no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment,” Orwell wrote. “You had to live in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in […]

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Interfax: Pushkov says U.S. to be hysterical if Russia grants political asylum to surveillance leaker

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 11, 2013) The United States will be hysterical if Russia grants political asylum to (name/post redacted), State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov tweeted on Tuesday. “By promising asylum to (name redacted), Moscow undertakes the protection of persons persecuted for political motives. The U.S. will be hysterical. They recognize it as their right,” he said. […]

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Watching the NSA Prism scandal from Russia

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(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief – June 10, 2013) The NSA Prism surveillance scandal is disconcerting for many reasons – all of which I won’t get into here. What is especially curious about it is how meek other Western governments and even rights organizations are sounding when they talk about it. Amnesty International noted that the […]

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