Russian security service `wants to ban Skype, Gmail`

Last Updated: Friday, April 8, 2011 - 18:47

Moscow: The Russian security service is
proposing to ban Skype, Hotmail, and Gmail as their
"uncontrolled use" may threaten Russia`s security, a service
official said during a government meeting on Friday.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) is "increasingly
concerned" by the mass use of these services, which use
foreign-made encryption technology, said head of the FSB`s
information and special communication centre Alexander
Andreyechkin, RIA Novosti agency reported.

"Uncontrolled usage of these services may lead to
massive threat to Russia`s security," he said at a meeting of
the government`s communication and technology committee.

Control of Internet traffic through these services is
done from servers outside Russia, and so they are often used
by extremist organizations, Andreyechkin was reported as
saying before the meeting continued without the press.

Deputy Minister of Communications Ilya Massukh later
said that recommendations regarding regulation of mass usage
of encryption technology will be given to the government by
October 1.

The FSB would like to ban these services in Russia
because "security authorities cannot access them," Massukh was
reported as saying.

The secretive FSB, which is a successor to the Soviet
KGB, has denounced the popular non-Russian services in the
past.

Earlier this year a leaked memo from Sverdlovsk
regional government asked municipalities to ban Skype for work
use and use only Russian programmes for email communication,
citing FSB analysis of foreign programmes.

Russian security services have wide-reaching powers
but remain notoriously closed from any public scrutiny,
including of their budget.

PTI



First Published: Friday, April 8, 2011 - 18:47

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