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(Apr 02, 2008) On March 4, 2008, the Russian Federation Information and Telecommunications Ministry published a regulation that obligates all telecommunications companies and Internet providers to guarantee to the Russian Federal Security Service (known as the FSB) unrestricted and uncontrolled wiretapping of and access to all information possessed by the providers. Although the Constitution allows such activities only on the basis of a court order, the providers recognize that the regulation reflects the relations already established between the telecom companies and the FSB, which were previously based on classified instructions.

The regulation was issued on January 16, 2008, and entered into force on February 1, 2008, but it remained secret until the publication date. The regulation states that Internet providers and telecom operators must secure for the domestic special service agents the means to read all electronic messages and overhear all telephone conversations without having to leave their offices. Information that will be intercepted includes the names and addresses of those who exchange messages or converse, the content of messages or conversations, the location of the individual subscriber, and billing information. Special equipment to facilitate these activities is to be purchased and installed by the service provider. (Ministry of Information and Communications Opened Access to Telephone Conversations to the FSB, NEWSRU.COM, Mar. 4, 2008.)

Author: Peter Roudik More by this author
Topic: Communications More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Russia More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 04/02/2008