Microsoft Corporation, the owner of the Internet call service, is ready to keep in store its Russian users’ negotiations, correspondence and data exchange and share it with the Russian police, if necessary, the company’s press office told news agency Itar-Tass.
It is to be recalled that a group of Russian deputies introduced a package of counter-terrorism amendments that propose additional regulations, in particular, those in the communications industry.
According to the document, an individual or a legal entity that has organised users’ contacts on the Internet are to store information about the reception, transmission, delivery and processing of voice information, texts, images, sounds or any other actions in the process of information dissemination and/or data exchange, for six months following such actions and share the mentioned information with the state authorities, if requested. If the bill is adopted, the government will determine which data are to be stored and provided. Negotiations via Skype with a Russian user will be regarded as a communication service provided inside Russia.
Viktar Malisheuski, a well-known Belarusian blogger, commented on potential Microsoft’s cooperation with the Federal Security Bureau: ‘I googled ‘FSB and Skype’, and there were a lot of articles on the subject which were written as far back as 2009. It is clear that special forces want to keep the Internet under control. Taking into account Olympic Games, terroristic acts, etc it is a natural process that such gruesome stories appear.’
The blogger stressed that such a measure would also pose a threat to Belarusian Skype. ‘Remember trials over protests after the 2010 presidential elections. Then conversations via Skype emerged; but one should not worry because there is a number of its analogs,’ he said.