Russian FSB approves new list of information that could pose national security threat

The Federal Security Service (FSB) released a new list of information that “could be used to threaten the security of the Russian Federation.” Though the list doesn’t concern state secrets, collecting any information included in the new order carries the threat of a “foreign agent” designation.

The creation of this list was provided for by an amendment to the law on “foreign agents” adopted in late 2020. The FSB published the corresponding order on the government’s official legal portal on Friday, October 1. 

There are 60 topics on the list in total. It mainly focuses on information regarding the army, the Secret Service (the FSO), the Foreign Intelligence Service, and the FSB, as well as the Investigative Committee.

Among other things, these topics include information about the locations of specific military units and weapons depots, information on military tenders, as well as information about the “observation of the law and the moral and psychological climate in the armed forces” (notably, this includes reporting on military hazing). Also included on the list is information about the progress or results of criminal probes under investigation by the FSB or military investigators.

In addition, the order pays particular attention to Russia’s space agency (Roscosmos) and to information regarding problems hindering its development.

The legislation stipulates that anyone collecting information specified in the FSB’s order must identify themself to the Justice Ministry as a “foreign agent” of their own accord. Failure to register oneself is considered a criminal offense, punishable by up to five years in prison.

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