Russia looking to make backdoors mandatory in all encrypted messaging apps

By midian182 ยท 12 replies
Jun 21, 2016
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  1. Before the FBI managed to access the data with the aid of outside third-parties, Apple was prepared for a legal battle to prevent the government agency from ordering the creation of a backdoor to the San Bernardino iPhone.

    The case lent more fuel to the ‘security vs privacy' debate that has, among other things, led to some members of governments calling for communication apps to weaken their encryption or implement backdoors. Several current and upcoming messaging services, such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and Allo, offer end-to-end encryption.

    While those calling for the ability to access users’ messages say it’s in the interests of national security, such a move has been met with resistance from technology experts and privacy advocates, who say it would likely cause more harm than good.

    But over in Russia, it looks as if a new bill will mean backdoors in encrypted messaging apps may soon become mandatory. According to a report in The Daily Dot, the rule is part of a proposed “anti-terrorist” bill in the country’s lowest legislative house.

    Should it become law, the legislation will see companies that refuse to introduce backdoors into their apps facing fines of up to 1 million rubles or around $15,500. One Russian senator, Yelena Mizuliana, said teens are brainwashed in closed groups on the internet to murder police officers, bizarrely, so there should be methods that allow the Federal Security Service to circumvent encryption.

    Mizuliana even suggested that the backdoors didn’t go far enough. "Maybe we should revisit the idea of pre-filtering [messages]," she said. "We cannot look silently on this."

    If mandatory backdoors become the law in Russia, it will be interesting to see how the messaging companies react.

    Iran is another country looking to clamp down on messaging apps. The Middle Eastern state is demanding that foreign messaging services “transfer all data and activity linked to Iranian citizens into the country in order to ensure their continued activity."

    Permalink to story.

  2. 3volv3d

    3volv3d TS Addict Posts: 155   +59

    Just ignore Russia. Wait does this matter? Russia surely will just use whatuppski, skipe, and other home grown messengers. Can't we secretly sneak rockets under Russia then when they are all asleep but 3am just fire them up, launching Russia into space? Would help their space program, and we would be rid of their BS. It's a win win...
    alabama man likes this.
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +1,085

    Can we do that to Washington D.C. too? :p
    Odium likes this.
  4. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,739   +3,757

    Just launch D.C. and be done with it. I'll even donate to the kickstarter.
    stewi0001 likes this.
  5. No one should be surprised given Putin's background. From Wikipedia "Putin was a KGB officer for 16 years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before retiring in 1991 to enter politics...". Add to that his political shenanigans as President/Prime Minister plus things like annexation of Crimea. This is not a nice guy
  6. DJMIKE25

    DJMIKE25 TS Addict Posts: 174   +68

    Russia is always looking to create some sort of backdoor. No surprise here.
  7. axiomatic13

    axiomatic13 TS Addict Posts: 146   +75

    Look I am not even sure that Russian telcom is even in control of the networks in Russia. I have two friends that live there and they claim that trying to use the internet without a VPN is very risky.
  8. 3volv3d

    3volv3d TS Addict Posts: 155   +59

    I think their was a misprint, a certain someone wants it in the backdoor.
  9. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,358   +2,005

    No surprise .... hey, maybe Edward Snowdon can crack their info and publish it?!?!?!
  10. well, he does seem to go in for the manly look
  11. condor64

    condor64 TS Rookie

    Why on earth would independent messenger apps like Telegram (based in Germany) or Threema (based in Switzerland) introduce a backdoor for Putin's convenience? Would Russia just block access to those apps? Is there even a Russian messenger? I have never heard of one.
  12. lazer

    lazer TS Booster Posts: 111   +26

    I always found it difficult to accept that Apple was willing to help terrorists and gangsters avoid being detected from the very people who we look to for protection. Is personal security so important that we are afraid that what we do/say will get us into trouble?

    I think law abiding citizens have the right to do exactly what Russia is doing, forcing encryption to be removable by law enforcement agencies.
  13. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 747   +357

    I'm glad that the telegram devs got out of Russia. I doubt Germany is going to do too much to curtail free speech given their history (as long as they stay away from Nazism).

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