MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – Reviving the Soviet cult of vigilance in the digital age, the administration of Russia’s second biggest city launched a tender to teach its officials the basics of combatting technological espionage.
A hand-picked cadre of 25 civilian bureaucrats in St. Petersburg will train in ways of “countering foreign technical intelligence services and technical data protection,” according to the tender’s description published late on Monday. It was not immediately clear what jobs the chosen trainees currently perform.
The students will learn about the methods employed by foreign intelligence agencies, ways of data theft and the means to prevent it, according to the tender, available on the website for state purchases, Zakupki.gov.ru.
The course would last for 108 hours and end in a test. The tender has a price tag of 727,000 rubles ($24,000).
The tender did not specify which foreign intelligence agencies threatened the administration of St. Petersburg, the birthplace of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s incumbent president and a former KGB officer.
In December, the administration of St. Petersburg – headed by Governor Gennady Poltavchenko, also a former KGB officer – also contracted anti-espionage companies to look for covert listening devices in its offices, Fontanka.ru city news website reported.