Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has approved a series of new online surveillance measures as part of a wide-ranging anti-terrorism law. In a tweet, Edward Snowden, currently living in Russia, wrote: “Russia’s new Big Brother law is an unworkable, unjustifiable violation of rights that should never be signed.”
As well as being able to demand access to encrypted services, the authorities will require Russia’s telecom companies to store not just metadata, but the actual content of messages too, for a period of six months. Metadata alone must then be held for a total of three years, according to a summary of the new law on the Meduza site. Authorities will be able to access the stored content and metadata information on demand.
Snowden pointed out the difficulties of implementing the new law: “‘Store 6 months of content’ is not just dangerous, it’s impractical. What is that, ~100PB of storage for even a tiny 50Gbps ISP?” He added: “This bill will take money and liberty from every Russian without improving safety.”