6% of the Russian population has been tapped

    The Inter-Regional Association of Human Rights Public Associations “AGORA” today will publish the report “Russia Under Observation”, which some of its conclusions were announced in advance .

    The report is based on statistics from Russian government agencies. According to the judicial department at the Supreme Court, from 2007 to 2015, the courts examined 4,659,325 petitions for monitoring and recording negotiations, as well as for limiting the secrecy of correspondence. Of these, 4,517,515 applications were satisfied, i.e. 97%.

    If we assume that each of the listeners had at least one interlocutor in a month, then over the past nine years, about 6% of the country's population has been tapped. This is the most modest estimate made by official statistics.

    The most massively in Russia are tapping conversations on mobile phones. Listening to cell phones has become commonplace. According to an employee of the central office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, without this, even the theft of mobile phones is not disclosed.

    Experts believe that in terms of wiretapping, Russia is still lagging behind the United States, because in the United States you can get one permission to listen to an unlimited number of people, and in Russia this is impossible. However, the efforts of Natalya Kasperskaya and her colleagues in government agencies are aimed at catching up and overtaking America, because there the security services have already begun to install microphones in public places : on the streets, public transport stops, etc.

    Human rights activists tried to count the number of cases where the collection of citizens' data occurred in the absence of evidence of criminal activity. This includes the collection of biometric information: fingerprints, saliva samples for the registration of DNA markers, movement control, etc.

    The authors of the report also draw attention to the work of the state's “search-highway” system, which tracks the movements of those suspected of serious offenses. The order on the establishment and operation of the base “Search-highway” has never been published, it became known by chance.

    The report lists known cases of hidden video and audio surveillance, hacking accounts and intercepting e-mail, records of telephone conversations.

    In December 2015, the European Court of Human Rights pointed out a number of fundamental flaws in Russian legislation that allow law enforcement authorities to bypass the authorization procedure and intercept any messages without a preliminary court decision.

    “Russia has an integrated control system, specifically applied to political and civil activists,” the authors conclude. In their opinion, the system created to prevent and investigate crimes, in the absence of public and judicial control, becomes an instrument of political investigation.

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