Russia’s ministries to publish their secrets

Russia’s most secretive agencies will now have to be more open about its activities. President Dmitry Medvedev has today ordered the foreign intelligence service and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to report to the public online.

Among other services to go online are the State Courier Service, the Federal Penitentiary Service, the Ministry of Justice and the Emergencies Ministry.

What exactly is meant by “being more open” will be defined by the president. Each service will have its own list of information to be published.

Most likely, the sites will display the results of audits and check-ups. The services will have to account for every ruble they spend.

“This is a wide range of information,” Vyacheslav Shcherbakov, from the University of the Interior Ministry, told RT. “First off, the contact information, the information of statutory acts and legal procedures, official statements of the head and the administration, emergency situations information, personal maintenance, statistics and services issues by the organization.”

The services listed are not the first Russian state organizations to go online. Back in December 2009, the Moscow police opened a public chat on the revamped Moscow police website.

In addition, Russia is now working on a range of new legislation concerning the Internet.

Trying to make life easier for copyright holders, Russia’s Communications Ministry has drafted amendments to the law that would make media outlets take more responsibility for user content.

The amendments introduce “creator’s comments” that will allow anyone who uploads his or her material on any website to define what can be done with the content.

Another part of the amendments concerns online comments. Once the new laws are adopted, those owning Internet sites will be responsible for all comments published on their web pages, and will subsequently be punished if these comments involve, for example, appeals to extremism.

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