Dr. Jai Maharaj

Russian Lawmakers Don't Trust US-Made Computer Software

By Sergei Blagov Correspondent
May 15, 2006

Moscow ( - A group of influential Russian
lawmakers has introduced legislation that seeks to rid
the country's military facilities and other strategic
government institutions of foreign-made computer

Accusing the government of being "addicted" to imported
technology, the legislators are teaming up with Russian
IT developers in an effort to ban the use in those
sectors of software produced in other countries, mainly
the U.S.

Using foreign software makes Russia vulnerable to spying
and sabotage, charged State Duma deputies Gennady Gudkov
and Alexander Khinshtein, both members of United Russia,
the main pro-Kremlin party.

They have proposed the ban as part of a set of planned
amendments to a bill on information security, currently
awaiting a second Duma reading.

Gudkov, a member of the Duma's security committee, said
they "do not want to build an iron curtain for Western
software," but were opposed to a powerful pressure group
in Russia which was lobbying for the import of foreign IT

Russia's dependence on foreign software reduced the
country's security and encouraged bribery among officials
in charge of procurement, they alleged.

Currently, more than 90 percent of all the software used
by the Russian government was of foreign origin, they

Russia spends nearly $12 billion a year on foreign IT
products, said Gudkov.

Khinshtein said it was virtually impossible to ensure
foreign companies did not build devices into their
software to extract sensitive information from their

He said it was "silly to hope that foreign security
agencies, under whose aegis large foreign companies
operate" would not use the opportunity to use IT products
to spy on Russia.

Under the proposal, strategic state organizations
identified by the government within one year of the law's
passage would be prohibited from using foreign IT
products where domestic equivalents were available.

The proposed legislation is seen here as having a strong
chance of eventual approval.

United Russia has a dominant positions in the Russian
parliament, with enough votes to approve constitutional

Russian analysts and media have few doubts that U.S.
software is the primary target.

The liberal Nyezavisimaya Gazeta daily commented that the
party had declared war on Microsoft's Bill Gates.

The Moscow Times quoted Microsoft as saying Russia was
the first country to join a government security program
in developed in 2002, allowing government agencies to
view source codes for Windows and other Microsoft
products and ensure there was no security breach.

The proposed measure could serve a commercial purpose of
boosting Russia's homegrown IT industry.

Calls to limit or ban foreign software comes at a time
Russia is boosting exports of IT products.

While still far behind countries like India and Ireland,
Russian software exports reached $1 billion last year, an
increase on the previous year of nearly 30 percent.

Russia's younger generation of programmers have tended to
place high in international competitions. Russian teams
won five of the 12 medals at a recent global programming
championship sponsored by the U.S.-based Association for
Computing Machinery.

Parliament Friday approved a bill introducing tax breaks
for domestic IT firms.

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Using at least one appendage, the entity known in this space-time
continuum as (e-mail address removed)9SZO or (Dr. Jai
Maharaj) revealed in
Russian Lawmakers Don't Trust US-Made Computer Software

OK. I'm being stupid. Are you a troll? I really can't see any point to
those items posted to alt.comp.freeware. And please stop shouting. It
just flags your posts for deletion

God help me. It's one of those days. Why don't you go and annoy the
football fan groups instead

I hope God is not a football fan


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