Sunday, October 21, 2007

FAPSI - Russia's SIGINT Agency

FAPSI - Federalnoye Agentsvo Pravitelstvennoi Svayazi I Informatsii - is Russia's Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information. In short: the Russian equivalent to the American NSA or British GCHQ.

After the reforms in 1991, the KGB was divided into several different smaller agencies. One of them is FAPSI, created from the KGB's 8th Main Directorat (communication and cryptography), the 12 Directorat (eavesdropping) and the 16th Directorat (interception of communications and Signal Intelligence). FAPSI is responsible for SIGINT (signal intelligence), government communications, cryptography in all its aspects and information technology.

FAPSI operates a large satellite network (since the 1970's more than 130 satellites) for interception and communications and has a large number of SIGINT stations around the world. One of the largest is located in Lourdes, Cuba. An enormous interception facility at the doorstep of the US, in the footprint of several American satellites, and a transmitter site of numbers stations. Another large station is located in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. If you think only the West has its Echelon project, you forgot FAPSI, with far more personnel than NSA and GCHQ together! Inside Russia, FAPSI monitors civil and government communications and is responsible for approving all cryptographic software (other crypto software is forbidden in Russia).

FAPSI incorporates the Military School of FAPSI (aka the world largest hackers school) and the Military School of Communications. FAPSI also employs graduates from the Academy of Cryptography of the FSB (not a school but a "scientific organisation", read codebreakers). FAPSI also provides secure communications to the Leaders of the Russian Federation and encrypted HF telephone communications for the government. All together an enormous service that controls all communications security and gathers large quantities of information, home and abroad.

More about FAPSI on KGB Military School, Federation of American Scientists and

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