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Russian secret service 'concerned' by Gmail use

The "uncontrolled use" of Skype, Hotmail and Gmail could pose a security threat to Russia, according to a Russian secret service official.Speaking on Friday, Alexander Andreyechkin, the head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said the service was "increasingly concerned" by the use of the communications services.
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Written by Jack Clark, Reporter on

The "uncontrolled use" of Skype, Hotmail and Gmail could pose a security threat to Russia, according to a Russian secret service official.

Speaking on Friday, Alexander Andreyechkin, the head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said the service was "increasingly concerned" by the use of the communications services.

At a meeting of the government's communication and technology committee, he said that "uncontrolled usage of these services may lead to a massive threat to Russia's security," according to Reuters.

Of particular concern was Gmail, Hotmail and Skype's use of foreign-made encryption technologies, he said.

Though his comments were disowned by the Kremlin, the government's deputy communications minister Ilya Massukh subsequently said that recommendations on regulations for services using encryption technology would be given to the government by 1 October.

He said that the FSB had concerns over the services because they were difficult for it to access, due to encryption occurring on servers located outside of Russia.

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) is involved in a long-running dispute with the Indian government, as the country seeks to gain access to encryption keys which would allow it to decrypt emails and messages sent over RIM's service.

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