MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia's secret services have authorised the use of
Blackberry phones on condition that they are informed by operators on
who subscribes to the service, RIA Novosti news agency reported on
MTS and VimpelCom, which owns the operator Beeline, have been given a
one-year licence and will start offering the service for their corporate
customers, the report quoted executives from the two companies as
The Blackberry, produced by Canada-based company Research in Motion, can
be used in Russia but the service has been restricted because the
Federal Security Service (FSB) cannot gain access to the system.
Yekaterina Osadchaya, a spokeswoman for VimpelCom, said that the company
would have to inform the FSB on Blackberry users and that the service
could not be used by any executives or officials with access to state
"Based on the experience of working with corporate clients, we will also
think about the mass market," Mikhail Shamolin, deputy chairman of MTS,
was quoted as saying.
Under a decree from President Vladimir Putin, the FSB has wide powers to
tap into telephone, mobile phone, fax and Internet communications in
Russia without prior authorization from a judge.
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