One of the servers of U.S. global system of monitoring Internet users is located in Moscow, Vedomosti daily reported on Monday quoting information shared by former CIA employee Edward Snowden with The Guardian.
Vedomosti says this follows from a 2008 presentation of the U.S. National Security Agency published on the Guardian's website on July 31.
"It turns out that the U.S. spying infrastructure is located in Moscow. The presentation contains a map of the locations of 700 servers of the global Internet surveillance system called XKeyscore. The servers are located in 150 countries, not just in Moscow but also in Kiev and even in Beijing," the Vedomosti article says.
According to the NSA presentation, XKeyscore collects information about electronic correspondence, downloaded or sent files, visited Internet pages, activeness in instant messengers, including lists of friends, and also information from the telephone books of mobile users.
The system can also monitor the entire traffic of a user after he or she is indentified in the Internet, including the computer software which NSA is unaware of yet.
Vedomosti wondered where the XKeyscore server in Moscow may be located.
A representative of the Federal Security Service (FSB) did not answer the newspaper's question.
A newspaper source in Russian special services said that the services had not studied the question but said that he was "practically 100 percent sure" that the server should be located at the American embassy in Moscow.
He accounted his point of view to the map showing that servers of the system are absent from the countries that don't have U.S. embassies but in which U.S. intelligence takes keen interest, such as Iran.
"An NSA representative did not comment on XKeyscore either but suggested checking the agency's website. The U.S. embassy in Moscow does not comment on any matters related to Snowden. Attempts to contact Snowden also failed - his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena is on holiday until the end of the month," the article says.
Vedomosti says that Russian experts simply did not believe the story about the XKeyscore server in Moscow.
Thus, director of the Coordinating Center of the Internet National Domain Andrei Kolesnikov thinks that the Guardian journalist who reported about the system first mixed something up in its description. In his opinion, the servers of the system cannot remain unnoticed considering the volume of traffic with information about users.
Meanwhile, CEO of Highloadlab company Alexander Lyamin does not believe Snowden personally. "I would not want to comment on the disclosures of clowns," the newspaper quotes Lyamin as saying.
However, the founder of Russia's biggest social network, VKontakte, Pavel Durov has taken Snowden's words seriously. He invited the former CIA employee to deal with the security of user data in his network.
Durov did not answer Vedomosti's questions about XKeyscore.
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