THE THREAT TO FREE PASSAGE ON RUSSIA’S INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY
Publication: Prism Volume: 5 Issue: 14
By Jen Tracy
With surveillance tactics reminiscent of KGB days, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) is trying to gain control over the Russian Internet–a control which would allow it access to every e-mail transmission in the country, including passwords, financial transactions and confidential company information. And all this information would come into agency hands without a warrant, despite the legal and constitutional stipulations.
In fact, the only thing standing between the FSB and complete control of the Internet is the cooperation of Russia’s approximately 100 providers–most of which experts suggest are “FSB-friendly.” The one provider who chose to rock the totalitarian boat was subsequently shut down. Human rights advocates and Internet experts alike recognize FSB advances into the cyber sphere as nothing less than an attempt to restore the force lost when Russia took its first step toward democracy. “Through the Internet, the FSB hopes to win back the power and prestige it thrived on in KGB days,” said Boris Pustintsev, chairman of St. Petersburg-based Citizens’ Watch human rights group.
SORM-2: THE CONTROLLING FORCE