Category Archives: surveillance

EDITORIAL: You can’t take the Russia out of a Russian


You can’t take the Russia out of a Russian

You can take the Russian out of Russia but you can’t take the Russia out of a Russian.

Last week the world learned the horrifying news that the Putin regime had assumed yet another godawful dictatorial power.  Not content with appointing governors and mayors, the regime now claims the right to open anyone’s mail, whenever it feels like doing so.  Security services also now have access to post office databases, which show customer addresses and past use of the postal system.   What’s more, the Kremlin is moving to crack down on Internet communciation services like Skype, having already obtained the abilitty to read ordinary e-mails and receive person information from ISPs through the infamous “SORM” regulations.

Internationally known Russian human rights activists Lev Ponomarev told RIA Novosti that the move was “totally unacceptable” and “unconstitutional,” and said that he is . . . .preparing an open letter to Dmitri Medvedev.

An open letter, Mr. Ponomarev?  Gosh, are you sure you want to go as far as that? Isn’t it a bit of an overreaction?  Perhaps a postcard would be enough?

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Pasko on Russia’s Neo-Soviet Postal Service

Hero journalist Grigori Pasko, reporting on Robert Amsterdam’s blog, reveals that the Kremlin has just seized the right, directly violating the Russian constitution, to open anyone’s mail any time it likes.  It’s such an outrage that even Russia Today is appalled!

"Don't treat telephones like toys! Spies just love such little boys!"

"Don't treat telephones like toys! Spies just love such little boys!"

As some of you have probably read in the news, this week my fellow citizens and I woke up to a new Russia, under even greater control by the inheritants of the KGB.  As initially reported by, “beginning on the 21st of July, law-enforcement organs will have unrestricted access to the postal dispatches of citizens – letters, parcels, remittances and so forth. Employees of eight siloviki structures of the RF – organs of internal affairs, of the FSB, of the Federal Protection Service (FSO) and foreign intelligence, as well as customs officers, workers of the Federal Service for the Execution of Punishments (FSIN) and Gosnarkokontrol – will be able to open mail for inspection.”  The report goes on to provide links to the corresponding order from the Ministry of Communication and Mass Communications, signed by Minister Igor Shchegolev, and to a list of requirements to networks and postal communications media for the carrying out of operative-and-search measures [detective work–Trans.] printed in Rossiyskaya gazeta [the official organ of the Government of the Russian Federation–Trans.].

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Remember how good old “Tricky Dick” Nixon got in trouble for spying on the Democrats?  He was a small timer, compared to the neo-Soviet exploits of proud KGB spy Vladimir Putin. Paul Goble reports:

A system of video monitoring Vladimir Putin introduced in 2005 ostensibly to fight street crime has since been extended to 53 of Russia’s federal districts and is now being used as part of a countrywide electronic network to “control the population,” according to a leading Moscow specialist on the security services.

In the latest of her series of articles on the modernization of Russia’s security services, editor Irina Borogan describes the ways in which these agencies are combining video monitoring with other local and federal data bases to increase the ability of the authorities to monitor any and all opposition activity. Russian officials have acknowledged that their goal is to ensure “public order” by bringing together all the sources of information they have about groups like football fanatics, extremist youth groups, and others in order that through the use of biometric data they can identify and detain particular individuals.

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