MOSCOW, April 8 Russia's domestic security
service called for access to encrypted communication providers
like Skype, Gmail and Hotmail on Friday, saying the uncontrolled
use of such services could threaten national security.
"The uncontrolled use of these services could lead to a
large-scale threat to Russian security," Alexander Andreyechkin,
the head of the Federal Security Service's (FSB) special
communications centre, was quoted by Interfax news agency as
telling a Russian government commission.
Communications Minister Igor Shchyogolev said there were no
plans to ban Skype, Gmail or Hotmail, a view echoed by a Kremlin
source who told Reuters the FSB proposal was so radical that it
did not even merit comment.
But such a strong statement from an official at the FSB, the
main successor to the Soviet-era KGB secret police, is likely to
raise concerns that some Russian officials would like to limit
internet communications ahead of the 2012 presidential election.
Prominent hosting website LiveJournal fell victim to a cyber
attack on Wednesday which crippled the blogs of both prominent
opposition politicians and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev,
who called the attack "revolting and illegal".
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Steve Gutterman)