Russias FSB security service is reportedly planning to track all communications from visitors of the Sochi Winter Olympics in February, reports The Guardian . Working together with Russian journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, the British paper has discovered that Russia will rely on its Prism-like surveillance system, Sorm, to track voice and data traffic. While Russia aims to deploy Sorm countrywide, its focusing the system heavily on Sochi in preparation for an influx of foreign visitors next year. University of Toronto professor Ron Deibert describes the Sorm system as Prism on steroids. The scope and scale of Russian surveillance are similar to the disclosures about the US programme but there are subtle differences to the regulations, Deibert tells the Guardian. We know from Snowdens disclosures that many of the checks were weak or sidestepped in the US, but in the Russian system permanent access for Sorm is a requirement of building the infrastructure. Given the headlines Prism has made worldwide, and the increasing tensions between Russia and the United States, it doesnt come as a huge surprise that Russia is doubling down on its own surveillance efforts. But it seems like a damning addition to an event like the Winter Olympics, which is supposed to show unity and trust across participating nations. In a torch lighting ceremony on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned that the Russian peoples qualities of openness and friendship made Sochi an ideal place for the games. According to Soldatov and Borogan, Russia has been working since 2010 to have Sorm ready for the Winter Olympics. Telecoms and ISPs are required to install Sorm boxes, which allows the FSB to access data at will. The system will also reportedly enable deep packet inspection by the FSB, allowing them to track users based on particular phrases and keywords, the Guardian notes. Developing, refresh for updates.
Russia makes headway with Arctic iceway
According to Lukashevich, the attack was provoked by the killing of a Libyan air force officer by a Russian citizen, identified as Yekaterina Ustyuzhaninova, who also injured the officer’s mother with a knife. Ustyuzhaninova remains in custody in Libya, he added. The incident provoked relatives and friends of the slain Libyan to decide to avenge his death by attacking the Russian diplomatic mission, Lukashevich said. The armed attackers succeeded in breaking through into the embassy grounds, but the personnel and their family members hid in the protected premises. In a telephone conversation with his Libyan counterpart, Mohammed Abdel-Aziz, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov demanded that Libya take action as soon as possible to ensure the safe operation of the embassy, Lukashevich said. It was not the first violent incident involving diplomatic missions in post-Kaddafi Libya. The Russian Embassy was attacked in February 2012 by an armed mob protesting Russia’s U.N. Security Council veto of sanctions against the government of neighboring Syria. And U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in an attack by radical Islamists on the U.S. mission in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.
Russia Stops Adoptions To Sweden, Seeks Agreement Barring Gay Couples From Adopting
The draft bill follows Russia’s highly publicized ban on gay propaganda that may affect athletes and spectators during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Also on HuffPost: Loading Slideshow Netherlands The Netherlands was the first country to recognize gay marriage in 2001. Pictured: Jan van Breda and Thijs Timmermans. Belgium Belgium legalized same-sex marriages in 2003. Pictured: Marion Huibrecht and Christel Verswyvelen. Spain Spain legalized gay marriage in 2005. Canada Canada followed Spain and approved gay marriage in 2005. South Africa South Africa legalized same sex marriage in 2006. Pictured: Vernon Gibbs and Tony Hall. Norway Norway followed suit in 2009. Norwegian finance minister and chairwoman of the Socialist Left party Kristin Halvorsen (L) stands next to wedding figurines outside the House of Parliament in Oslo on June 11, 2008, where she celebrated the passing of a new law awarding equal rights to same sex partnerships as those enjoyed by heterosexual marriages. (Getty) Sweden Sweden recognized same sex marriage in 2009. Pictured: Johan Lundqvist (L) and Alf Karlsson. Portugal Portugal recognized gay marriage in 2010. Pictured: Teresa Pires and Helena Paixao. Iceland Iceland legalized gay marriage in 2010. Argentina Argentina legalized same sex-marriage in 2010. It was the only Latin American country to do so. Pictured: Giorgio Nocentino (L) and Jaime Zapata. New Zealand New Zealand became the first Asia-Pacific nation (and the 13th in the world) to legalize same-sex marriage.
In terms of journey days, saving has been reported to be between two to three weeks. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in 2011 that the NSR would be one of the key trade routes of international significance and scale, which will be able to compete with traditional international corridors. China, the biggest trading nation in the world, recently sent a container ship through the NSR to Rotterdam from Dalian. The trip took 34 days or 11 days shorter than the Suez Canal route. While Russia and the world would like the NSR to be a major international trade route, Russia has the additional interest using it as a conduit to market its future oil and gas production in the region. Oil and gas discoveries in the Yamal peninsula are substantial and gas pipelines are already delivering gas from there to central Russia en-route to Western Europe. But there are plans for LNG projects to be built there. The Russians estimate tonnage through NSR in 2030 to be 85 million tonnes of mostly hydrocarbons. The Siberian Times recently reported Putin as saying, Russia is carrying out intensive work in the Arctic to explore and develop new oil and gas fields and minerals deposits. We are building big transport and energy facilities and reviving the Northern Sea Route. Efficient Condensate and LNG cargoes have already navigated the NSR from Norway to Asia in 2011 and 2012 on trial basis, which proved to be efficient, competitive and setting record times. Statoil believes that the route could become an increasingly useful conduit for Norwegian LNG as demand in the Asian markets is set to grow. A second spot cargo of about 150,000 tonnes of LNG from Norway via the NSR should arrive shortly in Japan for the Tokyo Electric Power Co to enhance its supplies and, possibly, to bargain with other suppliers on prices. The future development of shipping through the NSR would depend on the development with respect to Arctic ice.