Snow­den: Rus­sia’s anti-ter­ror ‘Big Brother law’ is un­work­able

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Roland Oliphant in Moscow

ED­WARD SNOW­DEN has con­demned a “dan­ger­ous” pack­age of anti-ter­ror­ism leg­is­la­tion passed by Rus­sia’s par­lia­ment last week, in a rare crit­i­cism of the author­i­ties in his host coun­try.

Mr Snow­den, who fled to Rus­sia in 2013 af­ter ex­pos­ing a sur­veil­lance pro­gramme run by the US Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency, urged Vladimir Putin to re­ject an “un­jus­ti­fi­able vi­o­la­tion of rights”.

Mr Snow­den called the bill ap­proved by the State Duma a “Big Brother law” that was “un­work­able” and “should never be signed”. He added: “Mass sur­veil­lance doesn’t work. This bill will take money and lib­erty from ev­ery Rus­sian with­out im­prov­ing safety.”

The anti-ter­ror­ism bill was tabled by Irina Yarovaya, a hard-Right mem­ber of the rul­ing United Rus­sia party. It tough­ens ex­ist­ing laws, in­tro­duc­ing what has been de­scribed as some of the most re­pres­sive leg­is­la­tion since the fall of the Soviet Union.

The new mea­sures would force Rus­sian mo­bile phone op­er­a­tors to store the de­tails of all calls and text mes­sages made by cus­tomers for six months, and keep meta­data – in­for­ma­tion about the date, time and users – for three years.

Providers of mes­sag­ing apps, email ser­vices and any other elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tion will be re­quired to pro­vide the se­cu­rity ser­vices with a key to de­code en­crypted mes­sages.

An­drei Solda­tov, an ex­pert on the se­cu­rity ser­vices, said Mr Snow­den was right to call the bill “un­work­able”, say­ing it was tech­ni­cally im­pos­si­ble to im­ple­ment the eaves­drop­ping mea­sures.

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