Russian Secret Police
Planning Total
Internet Monitoring
From The Drudge Report

The GUARDIAN on Wednesday breaks with an Internet nightmare: The Russian secret police may soon be able to monitor, in real time, every e-mail message and Web page sent or received by Russians.
According to a draft of a project code named "SORM" -- which is currently being discussed by Russian communications agencies -- all providers of Internet services in Russia would be forced to install a snooping device in their main computers and build a dedicated information superhighway connecting it with the security agency FSB, formerly the KGB.
James Meek at the GUARDIAN is first with details.
In an interview with James Meek of the GUARDIAN, an FSB official said that he could not confirm the existence of SORM -- the acronym for "system for ensuring investigative activity" -- but a spokesman for the Russian Association of Network Services, an Internet providers group, confirms to the paper that the association had held four meetings to discuss the project's implications.
"Russia's looming battle over Internet privacy is part of a wider international struggle between governments and Net users," reports Meek from Moscow.
Internet providers would be obliged to build a high-speed data link to the security service's Internet control room so that FSB operators could access a vast amount of information about any user.
"In theory, under Russian law, the FSB would be restrained by the same legal requirements as those covering phone taps or letter-opening, for which it must make a formal application to the courts. But Russian Internet users doubt the agency would be able to resist the temptation to use its secret system to spy on the innocent."
"The installation in an Internet server of a 'black box' over which the server's administrators have absolutely no control creates all sorts of dangers," said Anatoly Levanchuk, an electronic documents consultant who published the SORM draft on a renegade website in Russia, tells the GUARDIAN.
"It would be like having the FSB's word of honor that they won't switch on the listening device they've just installed in your apartment or office unless they really need to."

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