YEA, RIGHT: Snowden Inspires Russia to Boost Internet Spying

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Chainsoff's Blog

By Leonid Bershidsky 

Less than three months after granting asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, Russia is preparing to implement the kind of electronic surveillance that Snowden uncovered in the U.S.

The Russian communications ministry and KGB successor Federal Counterintelligence Service, or FSB, have drafted a regulation requiring Internet providers and mobile operators to install equipment allowing spy services to record and store for no less than 12 hours any data passing through their networks. According to a report in the business daily Kommersant, the ministry’s draft directive also orders providers to store identifying information about participants in all data exchanges. This would include e-mail addresses, Internet addresses, web-chat IDs and the physical locations of people using Skype or Google Hangouts. The equipment is to be installed by July 1, 2014.

The new directive appears to violate Article 24 of the Russian constitution, which says personal information cannot be…

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