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Snowden slams Russia's "Big Brother" laws as anti-terrorism bill is passed by lower house

By midian182 ยท 18 replies
Jun 27, 2016
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  1. A Russian “anti-terrorist” bill that, among other things, makes backdoors in encrypted messaging apps mandatory, has been passed by the country’s lower house of parliament.

    On Friday, the controversial legislation looked certain to become law after a massive 325 members of the State Duma voted in its favor, with only 1 vote against. It still needs the approval of the upper chamber and President Vladimir Putin, but this seems almost certain to happen.

    The so-called “Yarovaya law,” which was introduced as a response to the bombing of a Russian passenger jet over Egypt last October, has drawn criticism from a number of privacy advocates, including Edward Snowden, who has been living in Russia since 2013 following his NSA whistle-blowing antics.

    Snowden called the law an "unworkable, unjustifiable violation of rights that should never be signed.”

    In addition to the encryption rule, the law will make it a crime not to report planned terrorist attacks, armed uprisings, and several other criminal activities. Moreover, anyone expressing an approval of terrorism online will face up to seven years in prison, and the maximum penalty for “extremism” – a term that covers protesters, bloggers, and social media users who oppose the government – will be increased from four to eight years in prison.

    Another aspect of the new law would demand that the country’s telecommunications providers maintain records of all communications for six months and all message metadata for three years. The companies claim the cost of storing this extra data would amount to more than $33 billion.

    "Store 6 months of content is not just dangerous, it's impractical," tweeted Snowden. "Mass surveillance doesn't work. This bill will take money and liberty from every Russian without improving safety. It should not be signed."

    Other parts of the bill include restricting missionary work to specially designated areas and allowing property development on Russian nature reserves. It also lowers the age of criminal responsibility for many offenses to 14.

    Speaking about the bill’s surveillance requirements, Andrei Soldatov, an expert on the Russian security services, said: “Everybody knows it is simply too expensive. The real objective doesn't seem to be surveillance, but to intimidate companies into cooperating with the authorities ahead of parliamentary elections in September.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,452   +1,731

    How is it going to stop people from using encryption software made and distributed outside of Russia?
    alabama man likes this.
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,491   +2,291

    This douche is a guest in Russia, right? I have to say that the one thing Snowden is best at, is wearing out his welcome. If Russia boots him out, I wonder what country will accept the benefits of his "wisdom" next? :eek:

    "Loose lips sink ships", Eric, and AFAIK, that likely includes the lifeboat you're floating in now.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
    alabama man and Reehahs like this.
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,837   +1,180

    Hey Snowden, it's Russia! What rights did you think anyone had?

    This guy is so delusional... he has no understanding that the way the world is and the way he thinks it should be are two ideas that will NOT intersect. It won't be long before they drag his vigilante butt all the way to a work-camp in Siberia.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,491   +2,291

    Well now Mike, you ask any of the techo-brats here at Techspot, the KGB has been dissolved, and Russia is a functioning democracy, far exceeding the level of freedom enjoyed by the citizens of the US. Just because Putin used to be in charge of the KGB, is a non-issue. He's only a figurehead anyway..*nerd*

    You know, if I were the Russian government, I'd tell Snowden that they'd like his take on how they can improve conditions in their prison system. He would most likely go there willingly. After all, he just wants to "help" right? Then all they have to do is slam a cell door in his face, so he can do a dime or so cogitating about the problem.Then give him a hacked cell phone, so they can tack on a few counts of espionage while they're at it.
  6. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 629   +599

    So, that 1 guy who voted "no" is going to be having an "accident" soon, right?

    Also, Snowden might want to watch what he says. he IS still in russia, after all. I mean, I agree with him, this bill is a blatant attack on privacy and is incredibly shifty, but you dont insult russia when within russia, they WILL come after you.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,491   +2,291

    Us old fogies have an axiom which attaches to behaviors such as Snowden's. We cal it, "shi**ing in your own nest".:oops:
  8. Jack Meoffski

    Jack Meoffski TS Booster Posts: 49   +35

    ISIS and whoever can make their own encryption apps and in fact already do.

    These laws and backdoors do nothing but enable the government spy on people while telling ISIS to use their own apps instead.
  9. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,452   +1,731

    Are you trying to be funny?

    P.S. Just so, I am Russian.
  10. seefizzle

    seefizzle TS Evangelist Posts: 313   +169

    Edward Snowden is a hero.
    dms96960 and Transparent like this.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,491   +2,291

    I thought I was being sarcastic. Although, "funny" doesn't necessarily exclude sarcasm as a path to humor.

    For example,"not only is Russia a fully functioning democracy, but they just installed one in Crimea as well"! ;)(y)

    No, Eric Snowden is your hero.
    Skidmarksdeluxe and cartera like this.
  12. A horrible bill to pass, but you guys sure are slamming Russia when the US and the West is no better in many things except economy - that's much better here ;)
    dms96960 likes this.
  13. jhill3d71

    jhill3d71 TS Rookie

    Says the guy who broke many laws and contracts. So how can we trust him or his comments if he'll do that? We can't and should not.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,491   +2,291

    When you're my age, you have long since learned the "cold war" was about the pot calling the kettle black. Although, in a documentary about anthrax production in Russia, the US may have erred on the side of naivety about Russia's good intentions. Which is why the rule of thumb is, and needs to be followed rigidly in treaties, "trust, but verify".

    Although, a lot of the whimpering about "they're tracking my phone", is simply that your provider needs to know where you are, where you call to, and how long you talk, so they can bill you appropriately. It isn't any deep, privacy invasive intrusion.

    I can't picture being a "security analyst", and have to sort through the bulls**t the average American pumps through their cell phone. OTOH, it can't be that hard to understand, given the average American's vocabulary of two thousand words of so, and possibly another 500 or so in "jive".

    The average cell call in my neighborhood is a crack or heroin buy. I doubt the NSA would even bother doing anything about that though, as they can just dismiss it as, "not a matter of national security".
  15. Reachable

    Reachable TS Booster Posts: 104   +27

    The reporter referred to Snowden's whistle-blowing activity as "antics".

    POOR choice of words.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,491   +2,291

    Hey, we're in "free countries", we can call it whatever we want. Although, I'm sure the Russian government won't use such "lighthearted terminology"....:eek:
  17. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 382   +77

    "Mass surveillance doesn't work"

    uhmm.. Eric? I apparently missed your change of heart? aka "Well then, what was the point of all the leaks?"

    but hey, I'm old and neuron-deficient..
    captaincranky likes this.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,491   +2,291

    Really. According to legend the messenger ultimately gets shot anyway.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,491   +2,291

    Well, I suppose if he words it like that, he could possibly come off as trying to save the Russian government money. You know like, "don't do that peeping tom stuff, its a waste of tax dollars, buy yourself a few nuclear warheads or a fleet of new fighter jets instead".... (y):cool:

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