Russia denies plans to ban Gmail, Skype

April 9, 2011
The Russian security service denied Saturday it had plans to ban Skype and Gmail after one of its top officials said such services posed a serious security risk.

The Russian security service denied Saturday it had plans to ban Skype and Gmail after one of its top officials said such services posed a serious security risk.

The information and special communications director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) told a cabinet meeting Friday that he was growing "increasingly concerned" by the use of services with foreign-made encryption technology.

The comments sparked an immediate furor in the Russian Internet community and were dismissed as a "personal opinion" by a source close to President Dmitry Medvedev -- a tech-savvy leader who is often seen with an iPad in hand.

An FSB spokesman said Saturday that the agency was not proposing a ban on the popular services.

"Quite the contrary -- the development of advanced technology is a natural process that should be welcomed," the security service spokesman told Russian news agencies.

Several analysts noted that the unexpected proposal revealed another chink in the policies being pursued in recent months by Medvedev and his presidential predecessor and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

A spokesman for former FSB chief Putin called the ban suggestion "well-reasoned" and requiring further debate.

Both Putin and Medvedev can potentially run for president in polls set for next March and their comments are increasingly being read for signs of which of the two has the upper hand in domestic policy issues.

Explore further: Obama to release cyber security report on Friday

Related Stories

SKorea says attackers use IP address in 16 nations

July 10, 2009

(AP) -- Cyber attacks that caused a wave of Web site outages in the U.S. and South Korea used 86 IP addresses in 16 countries, South Korea's spy agency told lawmakers Friday, amid suspicions North Korea was behind the effort.

Russian bloggers accuse authorities of cyberwar

April 6, 2011

The LiveJournal blogging site, hugely popular in Russia, on Wednesday fell victim to a major cyber attack that bloggers said appeared an attempt to to silence political discussion ahead of elections.

Russian security service 'wants to ban Skype, Gmail'

April 8, 2011

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.

Recommended for you

Tech leaders warn over 'killer robots' (Update)

July 28, 2015

A group of top tech leaders, including British scientist Stephen Hawking and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, on Tuesday issued a stern warning against the development of so-called killer robots.

Cellphones can steal data from 'air-gapped computers'

July 28, 2015

Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) Cyber Security Research Center have discovered that virtually any cellphone infected with a malicious code can use GSM phone frequencies to steal critical information ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

N_O_N
not rated yet Apr 09, 2011
If anyone is old enough to remember, Alexander I. Soltzenizen(sic) wrote the novel "The First Circle." Koba(Stalin)wanted a device which would identify the voice on the telephone. Control of information is what Government is all about; all governments.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.