Damir Gainutdinov: Surveillance in Russia [Intersection]

posted 6 Dec 2017, 09:53 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 6 Dec 2017, 10:13 ]
27 November 2017

By Damir Gainutdinov

Source: Intersection

The Russian authorities are keeping an ever closer eye on their citizens, all in the name of public safety. Yet there are limited checks and balances in place for what gets gathered and when. And increasingly, the state has been a leak-prone holder of its citizens’ private data.

The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation — the FSB — has demanded that Telegram, a popular encrypted messenger service, hand over its “universal key,” which would allow the FSB to access all users’ private conversations. The FSB wanted this sent over to a general unprotected address — fsb@fsb.ru — which, on the internet, is the equivalent of leaving it at the reception. Telegram, known for its high data-security standards, was fined 800,000 roubles for refusing to comply with this absurd demand. Aleksandr Plyushchev, a journalist with the radio channel Echo of Moscow, filed a complaint with the Meshchanskiy district court in Moscow that his confidential correspondence with sources had been violated; instead of answering him, the court published Plyushchev’s home address on its website. For some time, the court personnel were claiming this was routine procedure; it turned out that one single judge had openly posted about ten other home addresses. [Read more]