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FSB supports imposing anonymity ban on instant messengers

October 04, 15:30 UTC+3 KRASNODAR

The Russian Federal Security Service calls for banning anonymous SIM cards and anonymity on instant messengers

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© Anton Vergun/TASS

KRASNODAR, October 4. /TASS/. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has lobbied for banning anonymous SIM cards and anonymity on instant messengers, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov said at a meeting of chiefs of intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies held in Krasnodar.

"We are also closely studying and find it necessary to disseminate cutting-edge international experience in the sphere of information security. This would include a ban on usage of anonymous SIM cards, extending intelligence services’ powers when organizing operational technical activities and measures to ban anonymity on instant messengers," Bortnikov said.

He noted that members of all terrorist cells detected in Russia used messengers with a high degree of cryptoprotection for covert communication. So, when preparing the St. Petersburg subway terror attack on April 3, the Islamic State’s (terrorist organization, outlawed in Russia) emissaries coordinated the actions of the suicide attacker and his supporters from abroad through WhatsApp and Telegram. "Similar ways and means of communications were used by members of terror cells and separate militants who were neutralized this year in Moscow and the Moscow region, as well as in the Vladimir, Sverdlovsk and other regions," the FSB director noted.

The intelligence chief reiterated that legislation was adopted last July in Russia that obliges organizers of data transmission over the Internet to provide the keys to deciphering this kind of traffic to the relevant organizations when using message encryption and communications providers to preserve users’ metadata and present it to law enforcement authorities if requested.

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