Russian security service 'wants to ban Skype, Gmail'

The Federal Security Service says extremists' use of Skype could threaten Russian security
The Russian security service is proposing to ban Skype, Hotmail, and Gmail as their "uncontrolled use" may threaten Russia's security, a service official says.

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 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 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 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.

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(c) 2011 AFP

Citation: Russian security service 'wants to ban Skype, Gmail' (2011, April 8) retrieved 15 September 2019 from
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Apr 08, 2011
Another push from the intelligence-military complex that rules the former soviet states. How long before our ruling intelligence factions in the USA start dictating laws and policies?

Apr 08, 2011
I totally agree with nada. How could that be done?

Apr 08, 2011
Given that the revolutions in the Middle East were over rampant corruption and were enabled by social media, it's no wonder the Russians are worried.

Apr 15, 2011
The rulers must hide themselves, but they will reveal themselves if forced to lock down the networks. They have been able to operate because they haven't needed to interfere with what the public considers normal information exchange.

Their problem is the internet and our strong legal standard of free expression; we will eventually be able to map the structure of the hidden forces at rule and identify their constituents. If they attempt to destroy this, they will reveal themselves as the threat they are.

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