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Russian Views on Countering Terrorism During Eight Years of Dialogue: Extracts from Proceedings of Four U.S.-Russian Workshops The Role of Internal Affairs Agencies in Efforts to Fight Terrorism Under High-Technology Conditions Oleg A. Stepanov* Academy of Administration, Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs The problem of the role of internal affairs agencies in the life of society and the state today is insufficiently developed inasmuch as there is currently no generally accepted understanding of the concept of “internal affairs agencies.” In the draft law “On Internal Affairs Agencies,” the author of the bill provides the following definition: “Internal affairs agencies represent a system of state agencies of the Russian Federation that take countermeasures against illegal activities and ensure public and individual security on the basis of provisions of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and principles and norms of international law.” With this definition in mind, we may turn to one of the most complex aspects of the activities of internal affairs agencies, namely, that connected with the problem of combating terrorism under conditions characterized by the development of information-based high technologies. Within the scope of this problem, two pressing questions may be highlighted. The first concerns legal conditions for countering high-tech-oriented manifestations of terrorism. The second involves facilitation of the scientific-technical development of the country’s population in a way that is proper from a legal standpoint. In considering these questions, it should be noted that in Moscow alone in 1999-2000, five cases of successful attacks against very important information resources and potentially hazardous industries were detected and revealed. Meanwhile, the existing procedural and criminal legislation as well as the laws “On the Militia” and “On Operational Search Activities” do not allow for effective countermeasures against this phenomenon. Given conditions in the information- * Translated from the Russian by Kelly Robbins.
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Russian Views on Countering Terrorism During Eight Years of Dialogue: Extracts from Proceedings of Four U.S.-Russian Workshops based society, the text of at least six articles in the current Criminal-Procedural Code of the Russian Federation should be changed to ensure that the rights of citizens are guaranteed. Specifically, these include Articles 12, 69, 83, 84, 170, and 174. It is proposed that Part 2 of Article 12, “Sanctity of the Home, the Protection of Personal Life, and Confidentiality of Correspondence,” be amended as follows: “The personal lives of citizens and the confidentiality of correspondence, telephone conversations, and telegraph messages are protected by law. Citizens do not have the right to use communications channels, including telecommunications systems channels, for illegal purposes.” The existing text would continue from there. It is proposed that Part 1 of Article 69 be amended as follows: “Any factual data, including information stored by machine, computer, or computer system or network, may be used as evidence in a criminal case. On the basis of this information, organs of inquiry, investigators, and courts by legally-established procedures establish the existence or absence of socially dangerous actions and the guilt of the individual who took such action and make determinations on other circumstances having significance for the correct resolution of the case.” The existing text would continue from there. Article 83, “Material Evidence,” should be amended as follows: “Material evidence is defined as objects that have served as tools of a crime, have retained traces of a crime, or have been the objects of the criminal activities of the accused, such as money and other valuables earned by criminal means as well as information stored by machine, computer, or computer system or network. Material evidence also includes all other items, including printouts of computer systems or network operation logs, that could serve as the means for uncovering a crime, establishing the factual circumstances of the case, or revealing the guilty, either in proving the truth of the accusation or in mitigating responsibility.” It is proposed that Part 1 of Article 84, “The Protection of Material Evidence,” be amended as follows: “Material evidence must be described in detail in the inspection protocols and photographed if possible, or else transferred to information storage media (paper, machine-based, etc.) in a way that precludes the loss, intentional destruction, or modification of the information, including that taken from computers and computer systems and networks. This information shall be placed in the case file by special order of the individual conducting the inquiry, investigator, or prosecutor or by determination of the court. Material evidence must be preserved during the course of the criminal case.” The existing text would continue from there. It is proposed that Parts 2 and 3 of Article 170, “Procedures for Conducting Seizures and Searches,” be amended as follows: “In making a seizure, after presenting the order the investigator requests that the items and documents subject to removal, including information stored by machine, computer, and com-
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Russian Views on Countering Terrorism During Eight Years of Dialogue: Extracts from Proceedings of Four U.S.-Russian Workshops puter systems and networks, be handed over. In the event this request is refused, he makes a forced seizure. “In conducting a search, after presenting the order the investigator requests that the tools of the crime, items and valuables obtained by criminal means, and any other items or documents having possible significance to the case, including information stored by machine, computer, and computer systems and networks, be handed over. If they are handed over voluntarily, and there are no grounds for suspecting concealment of the target items, documents, and information stored by machine, computer, and computer systems and networks, the investigator has the right to limit himself to taking the items handed over and not making further searches.” The existing text would continue from there. Part 2 of Article 174, “The Seizure of Postal and Telegraphic Correspondence,” should be amended as follows: “When it is necessary to intercept correspondence for the purpose of its review and seizure, the investigator shall submit an order providing justification. After authorization of the above order by the prosecutor or judge, the investigator forwards the order to the appropriate postal or telegraphic institution or to the organizations providing telecommunications services. He requests that correspondence be intercepted and provides information on the time of his arrival to review and seize the intercepted correspondence. The review and seizure are conducted in the presence of witnesses selected from among staff members at the postal-telegraphic institution or organization providing telecommunications services. The investigator has the right to call on the assistance of an appropriate specialist to participate when necessary in carrying out the seizure of postal or telegraphic correspondence or information from the electronic mail system.” The existing text would continue from there. Institution of all the above-proposed changes would facilitate the creation of a mechanism by which internal affairs agencies could combat acts of high-tech terrorism. In this regard, it is important to focus attention on the need to make corresponding changes and additions in Articles 78 (Evidence), 85 (Material Evidence), 86 (Storage of Material Evidence), 185 (Procedures for Conducting Searches and Seizures), and 188 (Interception, Review, and Seizure of Postal and Telegraphic Correspondence) of the draft of the new Criminal-Procedural Code of the Russian Federation, which is currently being developed by the Legislation Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation. In addition to the items noted above, a Part 8 with the following wording should also be added to Article 5 of the Federal Law “On the Militia:” “The storage of personal data in electronic form, as well as the giving of instructions to militia personnel to conduct automated processing of name-identified data, is carried out according to procedures established by legislation of the Russian Federation.” From the above-outlined standpoint on the problem of combating crimes of
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Russian Views on Countering Terrorism During Eight Years of Dialogue: Extracts from Proceedings of Four U.S.-Russian Workshops a terrorist nature, certain additions are also required in Chapter 28 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, “Crimes in the Field of Computer Information.” Specifically, Part 1 of Article 272 of the Criminal Code should be amended as follows: “Access to legally protected computer information—that is, information stored on machine, computer, or computer systems or networks—shall be considered unlawful if it results in the destruction, blocking, modification, or copying of information, disruption of the operation of computers or computer systems and networks, or even if it results in the disclosure of legally protected computer information….” The existing text would continue from there. Part 1 of Article 274 of the Criminal Code should be amended as follows: “Violation of the rules for operation of computers or computer systems or networks by persons having access to computers or computer systems or networks that result in (1) the destruction, blocking, or modification of legally protected information; (2) the blocking of access to computers or computer network resources; or (3) the disabling of computer security systems, if any such actions have caused significant damage….” The existing text would continue from there. Article 6 of the Federal Law “On Operational Search Activities” sets forth a list of operational search measures. In the interests of bringing it into accordance with fundamental principles for combating terrorism, an additional point should furthermore be inserted to allow agencies engaged in such activities to decode encrypted electronic information. This also requires the amendment of Part 6 of Article 8 of the above-mentioned law: “The conduct of operational tests, the decoding of encrypted electronic information …” and so on as in the current text. The above-proposed changes will make it possible to bring the Federal Laws “On the Militia” and “On Operational Search Activities” and criminal and procedural legislation into accordance with the Federal Law “On Combating Terrorism.” In addition, they will ensure the possibility of effective actions on the part of internal affairs agencies in the near term. In connection with the problem under discussion, it must be noted that along with the development of computer technologies, genetic engineering and nanotechnologies provided society with more questions than answers in the last quarter of the twentieth century. For instance, research on artificial intelligence and associated control procedures is being conducted at the University of Reading (Great Britain). Robots are being created that are capable of learning, interacting with one another, and reprogramming themselves independently. The main goal of the designers comes down to linking the human brain with the “brain” of the computer. At U.S. universities such as Harvard, the University of California, and Princeton, research is being done on deciphering the codes of the nervous system in the aim of creating acceptable interfaces with the human brain. Furthermore, with the patronage of Congress and the White House, work is under way to devel-
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Russian Views on Countering Terrorism During Eight Years of Dialogue: Extracts from Proceedings of Four U.S.-Russian Workshops op biotechnical systems comparable in size to atoms and molecules that possess logic and the capability of self-reproduction. The development of such technologies could lead to the creation of previously unknown forms of artificial life, cultivated by man for the supposed benefit of mankind. However, along with the development of nanosystems aimed at previously discovered cancer cells in the human body or the delivery of medicinal preparations to an ailing organ, experiments are also being conducted to collect the simplest mechanisms from molecules. These mechanisms, guided by internal signals, must manipulate other molecules and create more complex mechanisms, even including biorobots. In this regard, it is also appropriate to cite a statement by a top Pentagon official: “We are approaching a level of development where no one is a soldier, but everyone is a participant in military actions. The task now is not to destroy living forces, but rather to undermine the goals, views, and outlooks of the population—to destroy the society.” It is not by chance that I have cited these words, inasmuch as there have been reports in the media recently to the effect that the AIDS virus was also artificially created. According to these reports, it was developed in closed U.S. military laboratories, and as a result of an unsanctioned leak the virus spread around the planet. High-tech inventions facilitate accurate diagnoses and the regulation of the mental and physical status of individuals, yet they also make it possible to evoke psychophysiological distress as a result of news of the latest research lab leak. There are no guarantees today that these inventions will not end up in the hands of terrorists of various types. Here it should be noted that the consequences of such a leak could be comparable to the results that would ensue if terrorists were to get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction. For instance, U.S. laboratories are developing nanomechanisms the size of bees or even ants that can carry out any programmed functions from eavesdropping to shutting down electrical lines in response to commands transmitted from satellites or submarines. There is also another point that cannot help but cause concern. The development of high-level computer technologies is at times linked with the relative simplicity and accessibility of preparing the means for possible terrorist actions. For example, one American inventor came up with the idea of an anticomputer cannon—a device that could disable computers, vehicles, medical equipment, and any other electronic devices from some distance away. The entire invention consists of a parabolic reflector, a horn-shaped antenna, and two automobile ignition coils, and it costs less than one hundred dollars. The cannon creates in its antenna a 20-MW burst of chaotic radio noise that is sufficient to change the normal operation of microcircuits. The impulse does not ruin a computer, but rather “freezes it up.” The use of this device can produce chaos in electronic transactions systems, including in operation of integrated databases, a most valuable resource for internal affairs agencies.
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Russian Views on Countering Terrorism During Eight Years of Dialogue: Extracts from Proceedings of Four U.S.-Russian Workshops It is completely possible to state that problems related to combating terrorism in the high-tech sphere are among the most complex and little studied issues today. It is also an indisputable fact that an effective struggle against manifestations of high-tech terrorism is possible only with the establishment of international coordination of the activities of law enforcement agencies. And if the first step in the right direction lies in gaining a clearer understanding of problems related to preventing the use of high-tech developments by terrorists, then the second step must lie in creating a mechanism that would make it possible to prevent the spread of terrorist acts of this nature. In my opinion, at least two stages can be defined in the construction of such a mechanism. The first stage must be tied to the development of guiding legal principles providing for the prevention of high-tech terrorism. At this stage, the possibility of criminal punishment for the illegal development, distribution, and use of bio-and psycho-computer systems should also be stipulated in national legislation. Furthermore, concerning Russia, we could also discuss the insertion of the appropriate corrections in the law “On Combating Terrorism.” In particular, the concept of “informational-electronic space” should be added to Article 3 of this law, which presents a list of objects included in the sphere for conducting counterterrorist operations. It would also be expedient to make the corresponding addition to Article 1 of the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism (1977). The second stage of the above-mentioned mechanism is connected with developing a control and monitoring format that facilitates effective implementation of the first stage. In particular, in carrying out this second stage, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs faces the problem of how it should efficiently focus its organizational development in the future. Even today, one must raise the question of creating within the Ministry of Internal Affairs structure a special control-analytical agency that would monitor the spread of bio- and psycho-information technologies in Russia and prevent cases of high-tech terrorism. This unit should focus special attention on participation in the development (in cooperation with foreign partners) of approaches to combating terrorist manifestations in the high-tech sphere. It should also be involved in the exchange of experience and information on ways of countering the most dangerous types of criminal activity. The effectiveness of the work of the above-mentioned unit will be substantially greater if the appropriate interactions are established with such organizations as the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and the Federal Security Service (FSB). A consideration of the problem of combating high-tech terrorism also presupposes recognition by the country’s population of the consequences of the increased role of information technology in the life of society. The results of a survey conducted by the author of this paper in the city of Moscow speak to this fact. Specifically, the following results were obtained regarding a problem that is not directly linked with cases of high-tech terrorism but is to a certain degree
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Russian Views on Countering Terrorism During Eight Years of Dialogue: Extracts from Proceedings of Four U.S.-Russian Workshops characteristic of the level of legal consciousness among citizens. For instance, among survey respondents who were employees of organizations involved in computer hardware sales, a majority had a negative attitude toward the activities of the Microsoft branch office in Russia aimed at protecting the company’s interests in the computer software market. In particular, about 90 percent of the respondents believed that Microsoft’s activities are of the unceremonious nature of a monopolist dictating his own rules of the game. However, for some reason, no attention is paid to the fact that when selling licensed software, both the company representatives and the local dealer companies pay significant sums of money to the state in the form of taxes. When pirated software products are distributed, the state not only loses such an opportunity, but also in essence promotes the legalization of illegal actions in the high-tech sphere of societal activities. It is a well-known fact that terrorist manifestations become characteristic of those individuals who have previously gotten a taste for impunity. In the course of the survey, it was also established that approximately 30 percent of firms and organizations in this field of business have no interest in receiving information of a regulatory, legal, operational, or analytical character from law enforcement agencies through the agency for distribution of legal and criminal information that was recently created under the auspices of the joint publishing house of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs. Meanwhile, more 70 percent of respondents expressed their readiness to ensure the security of their own businesses (against racketeering, extortion, corruption, et cetera) over a network resource (the Internet) by means of establishing contacts with law enforcement agencies. Such figures should spur internal affairs agencies to step up activities in this direction, which could be viewed as promising in the sphere of preventing terrorism under information-based high-tech conditions. In this regard, within the scope of this bilateral Russian-American seminar it is also of some interest to focus attention on the assessment made by internal affairs agency personnel of the abstract situation regarding criminal phenomena linked with the rising role of information technologies in the life of society. In response to a question concerning resolution of a case demanding a high degree of professionalism and restraint and offering opportunities for showing initiative in gaps in legislation, a case that is also contradictory and affects the lives of individuals, 45 percent of respondents (internal affairs agency personnel) chose the following behavior: do everything according to justice, both de jure and de facto. Furthermore, they felt that actions taken must not be hasty and must not transgress legal bounds. Another 20 percent preferred a skillful combination of the spirit and letter of the law in this situation, along with a striving to improve the legislation. Between 5 and 10 percent of the respondents preferred a flexible combination of the letter and spirit of the law in this case, without regard to conditions for implementing principles of humanity, justice, legality, and openness and without considering the need for the case to move through all of the procedural formalities, not to mention the sense of the
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Russian Views on Countering Terrorism During Eight Years of Dialogue: Extracts from Proceedings of Four U.S.-Russian Workshops unusualness of the factual content of legal relations. About the same percentage of respondents preferred to hide behind the law and observe it to the letter, being guided by considerations of their own personal benefit. Only 10 percent of the respondents expressed readiness to do anything to achieve a just outcome in the case, even to the point of exceeding the bounds of their authority and placing themselves in a difficult position. In conclusion, it should be noted that it is very urgent and timely to analyze the problems of countering terrorism under high-tech conditions, with internal affairs agencies being among the key actors in this countering effort. Such an analysis will also promote overall improvement of the legislative base and will increase the effectiveness of the activities of the Russian Internal Affairs Ministry system as information technology becomes ever more important in society. This all takes on special significance as the international information space continues to expand. The problems that might arise as part of this process can at times take on the most unexpected forms. One example of this is the attempt to bring two Chelyabinsk hackers to punishment in the United States after the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted an operation to lure them out of Russia. In the current situation, Russian and U.S. law enforcement agencies, as the main actors in countering terrorism, are called upon to improve the procedures and methods of their work under high-tech conditions. They must not allow events to develop along “Chelyabinsk” lines, a situation that has given rise to a number of questions of a legal and moral-ethical nature in relations between the United States and Russia.