Russian Communications Minister Igor Shchegolev said on Friday the government had no plans on banning foreign online communications services such as Skype, gmail or hotmail, which are very popular in Russia.
Shchegolev made the comment after a Federal Security Service (FSB) official told a government telecommunications commission that these internet services should be banned as using foreign encoding programs, which hampers FSB investigations.
"We have no plans to cancel or close Skype, gmail, hotmail or any other [online] foreign services in Russia," Shchegolev said. "We are now discussing how to regulate such technologies, including economically."
A Kremlin official echoed Shchegolev by saying that special services did not determine Russia's policy.
The commission decided to set up a working group to draw up proposals by October on how to regulate the use of cryptographic means in free internet services.
MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti)