Is the Security Service about to establish total control of the Internet?


27.05.2006  The Head of the Department of Special Telecommunications Systems and Protection of Information of the SSU (Security Service of Ukraine), Kostyantyn Boiko considers that the Ukrainian segment of the Internet should be regulated in order to avoid threats to the country’s national security.

“If something happens, questions will be asked of us. And after that we’ll still come to the understanding that the Internet must be regulated”, he said in an interview to the journal “Vlast dyeneg” [“The Power of money”]. “I believe that we need to establish the rules of play already now. In particular as regards licensing activities on the Internet”, he added.

According to Boiko, if an information system or information telecommunications equipment in an institution are connected to the Internet, then theoretically anyone wanting to can gain access to all documents stored in electronic form.

“And therefore, they can steal and publicize confidential information. Moreover, through the global network one could cause a disruption in the work of important strategic objects”.

Asked what threats to Ukraine’s national security come from the Internet, Boiko answered: “A direct threat to Ukraine’s security is presented by foreign political forces, intelligence departments and extremist organizations capable of directing the resources and possibilities of the Internet against our state”

“National interests in the information sphere can suffer as a result of the actions of a criminal or terrorist organization. These violators are the main source of danger. We predict that in the near future they will become more active”, he added.

Talking about whether it was expedient to extend the control of the security service to the entire Ukrainian Internet, Boiko expressed the opinion that the idea of total control had the right to exist in order to defend the interests of state security. 

When asked whether it was necessary to also maintain control over the mass media represented in the Internet, Boiko stated that all media outlets work according to the law, and adhere to rules established by the state.

“Why is it possible in the Internet to write any type of heresy? … We have had cases when it was necessary to find out the author of material published on a site. We were only able to establish authorship in half such cases”, he said, adding that it would hardly be possible to print something like that in the press, with the accuracy of the information able to be determined by the courts.

Asked whether this would not lead to the threat of censorship, Boiko answers that in this issue one needed to carry out a massive amount of work, involve qualified lawyers in drawing up rules and to define the criteria according to which state bodies would determine what could and what could not be published on the Internet.  


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