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Date: 2000-09-02

RU: SORM implementiert, ISPs zahlen


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Die russischen Network Operators und ISPs kriegen ein
nagelneues Überwachungssystem, das heisst, sie werden es
sich halt leisten müssen. Dort geschieht dies wenigstens so
halbwegs rüpelhaft, nämlich ganz offen durch die
Geheimdienste.

Im hochzivilisierten EU-Kulturraum besorgt diese
Drecksarbeit ein Standardisierungsinstitut mit Namen ETSI in
einem technischen Komitee namens SEC wie Security,
Unterabteilung LI, wie "lawful interception".

Dort tagen die Kollaborateure - die großen EU-Telekoms und
ihre Ausrüster Alcatel, Comverse, Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia,
Nortel, Siemens und andere - mit den so genannten
"gesetzlich ermächtigten Behörden". Wobei die Polizei den
Diensten die Mauer macht, um selber angemessen am
Info/flusse zu partizipieren.

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Saint Petersburg Times September 1, 2000

NEWSPhone-Tapping Law Clears Final Hurdle By Masha
Kaminskaya STAFF WRITERThe Communications Ministry
has issued an order implementing a last stage for the
installation of bugging equipment on all Russian phone
networks, giving security services the unrestricted right to tap
into any conversation. However, the news - which has
aroused the indignation of the media and civil-rights
advocates - is but the final point in a five-year-old project to
monitor communications more closely on the part of the
Federal Security Service, or FSB. "It is a mystery to me why
everyone is making so much noise [about it] now, and not
when all this began," said Yury Vdovin, vice president of the
St. Petersburg-based human-rights group Citizen's Watch,
which is preparing to file a lawsuit with the Constitutional
Court demanding an investigation of laws regulating the
installation of tapping equipment.The new order, issued by
the Communications Ministry on July 25, summarizes all
previous documents on communications interception in
Russia, which have gone under the general label of SORM.
SORM - which stands for System for Operational-
Investigative Activities - was introduced in 1995. A similar
Internet-tapping system, SORM-2, appeared in
1999.According to federal law, it is the responsibility of all
communications operators to facilitate tapping for the FSB
and the police. Since 1995, all phone networks in Russia -
state-owned or private, ordinary or cell-phone systems - have
had listening equipment installed and running. Operators who
do not meet SORM regulations are denied licenses by the
Communications Ministry."All principal regulations relating to
SORM remain the same in the [new] order," said Vyacheslav
Oranzhereyev, head of communications security at the
Communications Ministry. "All we did was clarify the
[financial relations] between communications operators and
law enforcement officers."According to Oranzhereyev, the
one piece of news is that all SORM maintenance expenses -
including, partly, the installation of channels that connect
phone and Internet networks to the security services - will
now officially be the responsibility of the operators.That,
however, was hardly news to telephone operators."We have
seen no changes in working with SORM [with this new
order]," said Alexander Manoshkin, a public-relations
specialist at the Moscow Cell Communications
company."We have had SORM [equipment installed] since
1995, when it became a necessary condition for [licensed
activity on the market]," said Alexei Ionov, a spokesman for
the St. Petersburg-based NorthWest GSM company. "All
SORM expenses, if there are any, have always been met by
us."Gennady Sokolovsky, a technical director for Peterstar
Telecommunications, also said that his company's
maintenance expenses on SORM would in no way affect
customers' fees - another area of concern for opponents of
the project.As for SORM's legality, Vdovin said that this
question should have been addressed five years ago. While
they are not a direct violation of the right to privacy, he said,
the SORM regulations as a whole create the opportunity for
unsanctioned limitations of that right.The FSB, police and tax
police are obliged by law to get a warrant before they can bug
telephone conversations or read e-mail, fax or pager
messages.However, said Vdovin, another article in the same
law "leaves all tapping devices in the hands of the security
services," making it virtually impossible to monitor what they
are doing."There is not a single guarantee that a police
sergeant will not listen to my conversations or look into my
correspondence to, say, blackmail me for having a mistress,"
said Vdovin. "How about banks being unable to keep
commercial information secret?""[Given SORM's] technical
requirements, you will never know if your conversations are
being listened to with a warrant," said Anatoly Levenchuk,
project coordinator for human-rights watchdog Moscow
Libertarium.FSB officials failed to respond to faxed questions
or phone calls.Analogous wiretap systems used by the FBI
and other secret services have long caused concern among
human-rights advocates in the West.The U.S. National
Security Agency's Echelon project - used to monitor and
store e-mail and other electronic communications around the
world - though still highly secretive, is infamous for
circumventing legal procedures.And a recent study published
in the United States said that the FBI has more than
quadrupled its intelligence officers and nearly doubled the
number of wiretaps and break-ins since 1992.But while civil-
rights advocates have tried to draw attention to SORM
through conferences and publications, an article in
Thursday's Kommersant said that the St. Petersburg
administration has signed a contract with an information
security company to keep officials' conversations and files
from prying eyes.While the technical aspects of the alleged
information security system remain a secret, the company
disclosed that City Hall officials will in some instances be
able to use hacker-proof phone and computer lines. City Hall
could not be reached for comment on Thursday.Yury
Granovsky and Andrey Musatov contributed to this report.
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Relayed by
Barrys@aclu.org
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edited by Harkank
published on: 2000-09-02
comments to office@quintessenz.at
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