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30 Jul, 2013 04:21

Russia learned 'nothing new' from Snowden leaks - deputy PM

Russia learned 'nothing new' from Snowden leaks - deputy PM

Russian IT experts heard “nothing new” from a series of spying revelations by Edward Snowden, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said. Moscow plans to tackle the “existing and well known” cyber threat by manufacturing its own electronic components.

After a Monday meeting with the Russian President, Rogozin told journalists that information revealed by the leaks was “just the naked truth that we already knew from other sources.” 

He stressed that computer technology experts have not discovered anything new about Washington’s scope of cyber espionage. Instead, the whistleblower only reinforced the belief that Russia needs to strengthen its cyber security, Rogozin said.

“This is the truth that pushes us to act and hastens the creation of our own base of electronic components which we cannot do without,” he said.

Furthermore, Rogozin said that the possibility of such classified data leaks in Russia is unlikely, as an “ordinary engineer” will never have access to such privileged information. 
“Our work is organized in a different way. We have the Commission for Technical and Export Control and the Federal Service for Export Control. These issues are constantly in sight,” Rogozin told reporters, acknowledging that industrial espionage is “advanced stuff,” but assuring that Russia responds to it “by all possible means.” 

For now, Russia is safe - but could become vulnerable if the country becomes “dependent on foreign purchases of foreign equipment and electronic database,” Rogozin added. “This is a serious danger. Therefore, the question of our own electronics, proprietary software - it is a matter of national security.”

Rogozin acknowledged that what is happening in the field of cyber defense is of vital importance for the country’s rearmament process as “foreign machinery comes with the firmware” that may share certain information in stealth mode. “This question is not even the question of information, but of national security,” he said. 

Rogozin was appointed deputy prime minister in charge of the defense industry in 2011 and concentrated his efforts on the development of defense enterprises. He reassured that in sensitive areas - such as the navy, air force and armored vehicles and space - Russia will rely on its own electronic components base.

NSA leaker Edward Snowden revealed a number of details regarding US intelligence gathering and analyzing programs, including the notorious PRISM, but Russian officials have on several occasions refuted speculations that Snowden was debriefed by Russian intelligence services after his arrival in Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23.

Meanwhile, the whistleblower is still stuck in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport awaiting a decision on his temporary asylum request.

Reuters / Toru Hanai