KGB successor declares open season on mail

July 23, 2009

TEHRAN (Press TV) -- The Russian government has opened the way for widespread interception of citizens' mail.

In a decree, the Ministry of Communications and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation has given permission to various security agencies to intercept letters, parcels, and other postal items sent by citizens, reported Vostok Media on July 17.
There is no requirement for the “authorized agencies” to obtain a prior interception and search warrant from a competent court.
According to the decree, “control over the use of mails is carried out during processing of the letters in the networks of a mail services operator. To maintain control in the postal services network, postal items will be sent to the interactive unit of the authorized agency. While transferring postal items contained in packages (mail sacks, boxes and the like), used by postal service operator, a free access to such postal items should be provided.”
The decree that comes into force on July 21 obliges the mail service operators to provide the necessary rooms where the interception and opening of mail items are to be carried out.
Furthermore, the various security services, such as the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) -- the successor of the KGB -- must be given complete access to the electronic databases of the post office, containing the names, addresses, and contents of mail items.