RealNews

Police and FSB Listen In on Mobile Phone Calls

Mobile phone providers switched off their encryption systems for 24 hours on a government order, allowing the Federal Security Service and the police to eavesdrop on all calls. An alert notifying callers that their conversations could be listened in on popped up on cellphones around Moscow at 9 p.m. Tuesday and lasted until 9 p.m. Wednesday on an order by the Communications Ministry. The alert, depending on the model of cellphone, is usually either an exclamation point or an unlocked padlock. The Communications Ministry said it issued the order at the request of the Interior Ministry, Interfax reported Wednesday. The Interior Ministry could not be reached for comment. The FSB refused to comment. “The action taken to shut down the encryption system was conducted in accordance to the existing law and in order to prevent crimes,” Mobile TeleSystems said in a statement Wednesday. Full Story

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