Unclassified secrets and punishments: FSB order pressures into silence media and civil society

Unclassified secrets and punishments: FSB order pressures into silence media and civil society
Unclassified secrets and punishments: FSB order pressures into silence media and civil society
4 October, 12:29Politics
Experts and the media are discussing the ORDER published by the Federal Security Service with a list of information that is NOT state secret or classified information. But those who collect such data can be recognized as foreign agents. In a legal sense, this document is very, very controversial.


Unclassified information "when it is received by a foreign state, its state bodies, an international or foreign organization, foreign citizens or stateless persons may be used against the security of the Russian Federation".

The order says, we repeat, that this is "Information in the field of military activities of the Russian Federation, NOT containing information constituting a state secret". (Highlighted by me - S.B.)

Here it is necessary to clarify. For the disclosure of secrets and state secrets, only those persons who had access to them are punished. And if someone outsider accidentally saw or heard something, told a neighbor, and he told his godfather, and so on to the media, then no one in this chain is judged. The one who allowed the outsider to see or hear something should be responsible.

Yes, some information "can be used against the security of the Russian Federation." And "may" and not "be." But will they be registered as foreign agents anyway?

The list consists of 60 items. For example: "Information on the observance of the rule of law and the moral and psychological climate in the troops, military formations and bodies ... data on the moral and psychological climate in the Russian army".

Imagine a woman whose son is being bullied by a group of criminals in the army. She writes letters to the authorities, complains loudly, appeals to the press. And she will be enrolled in foreign agents?

And this is fraught with trouble. In particular, they will be banned from holding state or municipal positions. They will be fired from them if they used to borrow. She will be obliged to mark all her statements and appeals as a "foreign agent" and submit reports to the Ministry of Justice every six months. If she does not fulfill the requirements, she will be fined. If, on principle, he refuses to comply with these regulations, he can be sent for barbed wire for 5 years.

Everything is possible. And the media for materials about "hazing" in the army can be declared an alien?

Therefore, the press believes that the new order of the FSB is aimed precisely at further infringement of freedom of speech. Another example: in the list of information that "can be used against the security of the Russian Federation" there is "Information on the manufacturer's assessments of the quality of samples of Russian weapons, military and special equipment".

That is, we are talking about the fact that the manufacturer evaluates the weapons he has produced. Who is this "manufacturer"? Corporation? Separate engineer? If he says that the rocket made by their plant is better than all foreign analogues, his words "can be used against the security of the Russian Federation"? And if it proves that this is hack, marriage, then what? To declare the truth-teller a foreign agent? And, of course, the newspaper that publishes his revelations?

Although in fact, our security is threatened just by the bunglers who were exposed by the engineer and the newspaper. Perhaps we have already forgotten the example of the rocket, which we have been making for 20 years, but really didn’t make it?

Here's another item from that list:

“Information on the problems, including financial and economic ones, that hinder the development of the State Corporation for Space Activities “Roscosmos”.

Is embezzlement, corruption a problem? Is it holding back development? Undoubtedly.

In 2018, the head of the Accounts Chamber, Alexei Kudrin, announced: “The most large-scale violations in the field of finance were revealed in the state corporation Roscosmos.

From May to October this year alone, the media reported four cases of financial fraud at Roscosmos, including the laundering of 1.072 billion rubles in banks in the UAE and Hong Kong.

So, will we write these media outlets to foreign agents, and at the same time the Head of the Accounts Chamber of Kudrin? And not those who steal budget money and undermine the military-technical might of the Motherland?

Relations between the press and government agencies have always been and are tense in all countries. Especially when it comes to state secrets. For example, On June 14, 1971, The New York Times began publishing materials from the top secret "Vietnamese dossier" of the US Department of Defense. The documents showed that the real goals of the United States in Vietnam were at odds with official declarations that the administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson had deceived the people and Congress about the country's policy in Southeast Asia.

The prosecutor's office demanded to stop printing materials, arguing that they "undermine national security." A New York court issued a temporary ban. The New York Times has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the Washington Post picked up the baton. The Attorney General's Office went to court, but Judge Murray Garfein issued a verdict:

“The security of the state is ensured not only by the ramparts. Security is ensured by the value of our free institutions. The picky press, the unyielding press, the ubiquitous press must be tolerated by those in power in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the people's right to know. ”

The government has appealed its decision. The Supreme Court tried the United States v. Washington Post and The New York Times v. United States in one session.

While the litigation was going on - not for long - 15 more American newspapers began to print the "Pentagon Papers".

On June 30, the Supreme Court ruled that the right of Americans to know how their money is spent and how fateful decisions are made for the country is HIGHER than the right of the country's leaders to keep any official secrets.

The separate opinions of the judges were widely printed in the press. For example, Judges Hugo Black:

“Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose government deceptions. Among the duties of a free press, the paramount duty is to resist the deception of people by any government agency, to resist sending them to distant lands to die from other people's diseases and from other people's bullets and shells".

The materials of the American press, the decision of the Supreme Court played a significant role in ending the war in Vietnam.

Closed departments are the object of close public scrutiny, because secrecy most often and most often gives rise to arbitrariness, abuse, errors and concealment of errors, which can damage national security.

National security is the security of the country, citizens, and not the "security" of ministries and departments from the control of society.

No department has the right to issue orders regulating the behavior of ALL citizens of the country, whether or not related to their department. It would be good if the document was called "Recommendations", otherwise - "Order"! The country and society live according to laws, not orders. How constitutional are such acts? Are they not encroaching on the inalienable civil rights of Russians guaranteed by the Constitution? What do the lawyers, the Human Rights Council, the Constitutional Court think about this?

So what is the essence of the FSB order? After all, it is not for official use, not for its employees, so that they know, vow and watch. The document was published on the official website of legal information. Order - to whom? For all of us? It is natural that society and the press began to actively discuss it, to be indignant. The general conclusion is that this is a signal: nothing is allowed, although by law everything is possible, but there will be unpleasant consequences, so think for yourself, decide for yourself...

Everyone understood everything. It is not the first day that we live under our native aspens.

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