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State Technical Commission [GosTekhKomissiya]
Gosudarstvennii Tekhnologiam Komissiya

Znamenka Ul. - 19,
Moscow 103060
Phone: (+7 095) 924 68 08

The State Technical Commission, with its 20-year experience of protecting state secrets from foreign intelligence services, has been charged with implementing the functions of an Inter-Agency Commission for the Protection of State Secrets as required by the law On State Secrets. The State Technical Commission is not an intelligence service in the customarily accepted sense of the word. It was created as a permanent body responsible for the protection of state secret and official information, for preventing its loss through technical channels, and for counteracting foreign technical intelligence services on operatiions in Russia.

The 23-member commission, which unites 19 principal agencies concerned with state secrets, is composed of ministers, chairmen of state committees, and first deputies (deputies) of these leaders. The Commission is headed by Yuriy Alekseyevich Yashin, was appointed chairman of the State Technical Commission under the Russian Federation President in 1992. A graduate of the Military Academy imeni F.E. Dzerzhinskiy, in 1981 he was first deputy commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, rising to USSR Deputy Minister of Defense in 1989. The Commission is directly subordinated to the Russian Federation President to ensure the independence of the from regional, departmental, and corporate influences. The Commission's decisions are obligatory for execution by all government agencies, enterprises, organizations, and institutions which have information that is a state or official secret.

The structural subdivisions of the federal and many regional organs of state rule, enterprises, institutions, and organizations operate as part of this state system for the protection of information from technical intelligence services. One major accomplishment since the creation of the Commission has been the creation of a specialist training system for the protection of state secrets and information. The Commission has also established standards for licensing enterprises and organizations for providing sphere of information protection services, as well as standards for the certification of technical information protection systems.

Systematic monitoring of information protection in ministries and departments, at enterprises, institutions and organizations permits the analysis of the effectiveness of the adopted protection measures and determination of ways to improve information protection systems. The most recent instance involved the widespread use of inexpensive imported mini-ATS [automatic telephone exchanges]. Russian Federation federal and regional agencies, and enterprises and organizations that accomplish defense orders and carry out state deliveries were purchasing imported automatic telephone exchanges. Analysis conducted by Russian State Technical Commission experts indicated the possibility exists of their remote control ("police modes") either for bugging rooms or blocking their operations. Following notification from the State Commission, managers began to assess not only the monetary benefit of low cost but also the operation hazards of these systems.

Criminal and commercial structures are carrying out extensive communications monitoring, using modern equipment which is sometimes better than that of state agencies. There is widespread tapping of cellular telephones of all standards and of pagers, and there is a brisk business in intercepting reports and passing them on to well-heeled companies. The punishment for tapping under existing law is laughable is a relativelly trivial fine.

The Commission is concerned with the implementation of the State Program for Guaranteeing the Protection of State Secrets in the Russian Federation. It is also currently focused on draft legislation clarifying the goals, tasks, and organizational basis of information protection counteracting technical intelligence services. The Russian Federation draft law "On Information Protection From Loss Through Technical Channels and Counteracting Technical Intelligence Services" was prepared at the request of the Federation Assembly State Duma Committee on Security and has been submitted to the committee.

The Russian Draft Information Security Act aims at covering almost all fields, including:

  • Administrative and Physical Protection,
  • Protection against unauthorized access to information in single systems (somehow comparable to COMPSEC),
  • Protection of information and availability in networks (comparable to COMSEC),
  • Protection of Electronic Document Interchange, including regulation of digital signatures,
  • Protection from compromising secrecy by detection of signals and electromagnetic radiation (TEMPEST-like),
  • Protection from malicious software (viruses etc), and
  • Protection against threats to Intellectual Property, illegal copying etc.

The legislation will legally protect a variety of secrets, including the operations of state and military, commerce, banks, as well as personal data, microcircuits and digital signatures. Appropriate criminal, civil and labour laws are being developed.

Russia has cooperated with the CIS countries in information protection, with intergovernmental agreements with Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The preparation of a similar agreement with Belarus is being completed. The further development of cooperation with the CIS countries is focused on the coordination of national laws in the information protection sphere based on the "Recommended Legislative Act On the Principles of Lawful Regulation of Information Relations in the Interparliamentary Assembly Member-States."

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