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26 Mar, 2008 11:21

Privacy breach: Russians exposed on internet

Millions of Russians and other CIS citizens have had their private details placed on the internet, in what many say is a massive breach of human rights.

It’s not clear who’s behind the internet site, as the authors have carefully hidden their identity. The site is registered to an apparent false name in California and the server is located in the U.S. city of Saint-Lewis.

For many years secret databases from the Interior Ministry, road police and phone operators have been available on the Russian black market.

Making such data public is considered to be a major violation of human rights says Eelena Lukyanova, a law expert. “Those whose rights were violated can go to the prosecuters office. There the authorities will have to make inquires and open a criminal case,” she explained.

Experts are pessimistic about the prospects of punishing the site owners.

“Today there are no international documents that could help solve this situation. The site is in COM, not RU registration zone. And hardly anything could be done,” Leyla Neyman, a media lawyer, said.

Aleksey Sabanov, an information security expert, says that there are many similar cases. “We now observe a well organised trade of these databases. One of the main questions is accuracy of the information sold,” he said.