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Author`s name Michael Simpson

Moscow Security Service Taps Mobile Phones

The measure resorted to in order to find the organizers of terrorist acts
Russia's cellular operators, MTS and Bee Line informed that extra encryption of telephone conversations was down on the night of July 9, reports. The disconnection was performed on the instruction of the RF Ministry for Communication and Informatization and applied to all GSM operators in Moscow and the Moscow region.

A spokesperson for Vympelcom, the second largest mobile operator in Russia (trade name Bee Line), Artyom Minayev said in an interview with, the encryption was down within the period from 9:00 p.m. July 8 to 9:00 p.m. July 9. The disconnection was done in the framework of the legislation in force with a view of crime prevention.

The cellular operators promised that quality and reliability of communication wouldn't suffer because of the disconnection. It was said that only special authorities would tap conversations.

The disconnection of extra encryption means that conversations of all clients of mobile operators were listened in. It is highly likely that law enforcement authorities decided to resort to this measure to find the organizers of the terrorist act at the concert in Tushino last Saturday. The police found a Siemens mobile phone at the site of the terrorist act; suicide bomber Zulikhan Elikhadjaeva, 20, spoke on the phone several seconds before the explosion. It is said that information on the phone's SIM card may help find the organizer of the terrorist act with whom the suicide bomber talked; law enforcement authorities hope to identify the telephone number that the criminal used and the place where he stayed when the explosion sounded.  

Meanwhile, the whole of the city is gripped with panic as people fear that more acts of terrorism may follow. An item resembling an explosive was discovered in a trolleybus in the north-western district of Moscow Thursday morning. Passengers raised an alarm when they noticed a suspicious bag in the trolleybus. The driver stopped the machine, told the passengers to get out and called the police. The police blocked the traffic near the place and cordoned the incident site. Fortunately, the discovered suspicious item was a bag left by some passenger.

What is more, the police received an anonymous call from the Moscow State Institute of Steel and Alloys saying that the building of the institute might be blown up. The police immediately left for the institute to investigate whether the call was true or false.