JANUARY 23 2006
I doubt very much whether setting up a secure email system via private servers in rocks in Moscow parks has anything to do with spying. What seems likely is either UK or US Intelligence employees have lent some of their technology to some Russian NGOs to allow them to communicate privately. Russia is not used to NGOs, and to find they are getting help to communicate without their email being intercepted would no doubt upset some of the old school. Jeremy Paxman (BBC TV Newsnight)  did not appear to appreciate that emails are not private, and ecrypting messages draws attention to the correspondents, so he could not see the point of a secure email system. Looked at from the other end, there is no doubt that the Russian security services were doing their job properly by detecting the activity. We should not forget that they, just like all other countries, have to be on alert to terrrorist planning by some 'bunch of guys'. So don't let's get in a bother over this. If the users are innocent, the Russian government may have some responsibility for forcing them to be so secretive by its rather oppressive policies. On the other hand we don't need to tell people how to run their own countries unless they ask. In Iraq and Afghanistan we are asked to do certain things, of that there is no doubt. In due course we will be asked to leave.

Of course this affairt could all be much more exotic than I have supposed and be the start of a diplomatic crisis - but somehow I doubt it.

JANUARY 28th  I can't wait to hear what they have to talk about.

Saturday January 28, 05:51 PM Yahoo News

Russian security services have claimed that they have arrested two spies working for British intelligence.

Nikolai Kovalyov, the former head of the Russian security service (FSB) said: "Two British spies have been arrested. Of course they are not silent they are talking."

A spokesman for the FSB said he could neither formerly deny nor confirm the report.

Russia this week accused Britain of running a James Bond-style spying operation in Moscow using a receiver hidden in a fake rock to gather secret information and said it had caught British spies funding pressure groups.

Four British diplomats were named as spies in a programme shown on state television last Sunday. The programme said one Russian, who had been turned by British agents while abroad, had been arrested for treason.

President Vladimir Putin, himself a former KGB spy has yet to decided whether to expel the diplomats who were named.

JANUARY 19th 2012

It has taken 6 years for the truth to emerge. Jonanthan Powell has revealed that Russia had the UK 'Bang to rights'
However, the operation was as I guessed at the time (see above) nothing to do with serious spying. The NGOs in question were publicly documented on websites as was the funding which they received which the Putin administration objected to. There was nothing secret other than the communications because these were not allowed in public. I suppose the only reason the private communications system was not admitted to at the time when exposed was embarrassment.