Belarusian Internet under Security Service surveillance
Specialists assert that it is extremely easy to intercept correspondence via the Internet, and say that cases where Security Service [KGB] officers look for potential agents on the Internet are not uncommon. KGB officers invite students and deans in, telling them that they have followed their contacts in the virtual realm. They demand that they work for them, threatening to get them thrown out of the institutes.
Internet providers say that in Belarusian conditions, it is not difficult to carry out such surveillance. With the use of special programmes one can even monitor correspondence via Skype. The General Director of the company “Reliable programmes” and Director of the Board of Directors of TUT.BY Yury Zisser told the Belarusian Service of Radio Svoboda that surveillance was very easy.
“The Internet is a collection of personal networks combined one with the other. Any movements made on the Internet, any letter, any request for information is recorded. The providers retain a log, and if the information is requested by the Security Service, they provide it.
However there must be permission from the Prosecutor. Technically its very easy to do, especially in Belarusian conditions, when the entire traffic goes via “Bentelekom” and there is often no need to approach private providers.
Even if a person has a gmail.com address, they wont get into the actual post, however when you receive access to your post and it appears on the screen, is it in any way passed on? Its there that its read.”
The Security Service uses the Internet to look for terrorist organizations or criminals. In the USA, for example, each provider has their own channel for the FBI, and in Russia for this purpose they use the system SORM. However many specialists believe that the Security Services use the Internet to monitor political opponents of the regime.
Yury Zisser believes that it is not difficult to work out via the Internet the whereabouts of a specific person. For this you only need to take the remarks made by the individual on forums, ask for their IP address, date and time of issue. The provider can say which office or flat it came from.