Kazakhstan special services can tap phones: media 20 июня 2013, 17:37
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Kazakhstan’s state security services are capable of intercepting telephone conversations, controlling Internet traffic and accessing SMS and MMS messages of Kazakhstan citizens, CA-NEWS reports citing the report of the Access Global Movement for Digital Freedom. The author of the new research into export and resale of Russian surveillance technology to Central Asian countries Peter Bourgelais surveyed four countries: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with the total population of 55 million people. “The state security services of Kazakhstan are able to tap into communications on fixed-line phone, track Internet traffic, semistructured data like SMS, MMS, posts on forums, as well as to perform automatic recognition of voices and faces. They have certain capacities for tracking cellular communications, as well as the advanced software for data analysis,” the researcher writes. The report says that the surveillance in Kazakhstan is allegedly performed with the use of OIMS technologies, just like in Uzbekistan. OIMS (Operational-Investigative Means System) is the Russian technology made by KGB that performs telephone interception. According to Access, this system was copied and distributed to all around Central Asia. Its new versions are able to perform target surveillance of specific persons throughout all types of Internet and telephone communications. According to Access, Russian company MFI-Soft with offices in Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow supplies the equipment and software. Via its agent ALOE Systems, MFI-Soft lists Kazakhstan telecommunication companies Astel OJSCm JSC Nursat and KazakhTelecom (51 percent owned by the state) among its clients. The speech technologies center (a Saint-Petersburg company specializing in speech phonograms expertise) also allegedly had some activities in Kazakhstan. Besides, the report states that Semantic Archive system developed by the Moscow company Analytical Business Solutions (ABS) is used for accessing SMS, MMS, forums, blogs and social media. Systems similar to Semantic Archive are developed for collection of information from different sources into one database with an optimized search engine. The report says that this system is used by Kazakhtelecom, Kazakhstan national telecommunications company. ABS advertisement materials also mention several major telecommunication companies in the region, such as MTS and VympelCom’s brand Beeline. Xfiles system developed by Russian company i-Teco is similar to these systems. The company lists Kazakhstan Justice Ministry and several regional telecommunication companies among its clients.