Russian Web site fights government monitoring effort
Web posted at: 12:31 p.m. EDT (1631 GMT)
From Correspondent Mike Hanna
MOSCOW (CNN) -- Anatoly Levenchuk, who fears the Russian government has plans to monitor all Internet traffic in the country, is fighting back.
On his own site, the Web-savvy Muscovite has published details of what he says is a new Russian secret police project known as SORM -- system for ensuring investigative activity.
Levenchuk calls it the Russian Internet wiretap project. "I'm afraid that this is (a) return back to Big Brother," he told CNN.
As Levenchuk explains it, SORM would compel all Internet service providers (ISPs) in Russia to construct a dedicated link to the government's FSB security agency, formerly the KGB.
This theoretically would enable the police to monitor the Internet activity of each and every individual in Russia.
The FSB won't comment on the project. But at its academy, where would-be spies learn their trade, a new subject has been introduced to the curriculum: the study of new information technologies and, in particular, how to ensure the security of data on government and corporate computers.
"Hackers have appeared who try illegally to enter information networks. They should be stopped," says an FSB officer.
"In fact ... we spotted a few of these hackers and they were stopped," he adds.
While unwilling to appear on camera to discuss SORM, some ISP officials have confirmed that discussions on the matter are being held with the secret police.
It's been only a few years since the collapse of communism and the Soviet Union, so the concept of freedom is difficult for most Russians to understand, says Levenchuk.
On his Web site, he is attempting to explain what freedom really is. To do that, he's using the same information highway the authorities reportedly want to police.
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