FSB: Not backing down over skype
The Deputy Head of the FSB Scientific and Technical Service, Alexander Andreechkin’s statement on the danger posed by the use of encryption systems in gmail, hotmail and Skype prompted a flood of comments from high placed officials. First came an anonymous comment from President Medvedev’s administration, making it clear his own position superseded Andreechkin’s statement. Then came the Prime Minister’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, backing the FSB official and supporting the FSB initiative. Then came a statement from the FSB’s own Public Communication Center declaring that the agency had been misunderstood and that no one intended to ban anything.
For some reason, this final statement led many people to decide that the issue had been resolved: an FSB official simply made a somewhat extreme statement, the President’s Administration had taken them down a peg or two, the FSB then distanced itself from the claim. The only area still causing confusion being Peskov’s statement, which provided new grounds for speculation about friction in the tandem.
In reality, no one took anyone down a peg or two and the FSB in no way changed the position which it formulated back in the 1990’s.