Moscow University Seeks To Monitor Protest Moods Among Students Via Internet

The Moscow-based Russian State Humanitarian University (RGGU) seeks to use special software to monitor students’ inclination for protest, a group called Roskomsvoboda said on June 17.

According to Roskomsvoboda, its members studied Russia’s federal site on state purchases and discovered documents announcing a 12 million ruble ($165,000) tender for software that would allow the university to monitor, compile, and analyze data gathered from students’ Internet usage.

According to the document, the monitoring would take place around the clock and alert university officials to any information “of particular interest.”

The document said that the software would “analyze in detail material related to education, student life, [and] youth politics posted on Internet websites, social networks, blogs, and forums.”

Among other things, the software system is also required to highlight the mention of certain names and groups, activities related to discussions about media reports and social groups, and groups of influence in an effort to analyze tensions among students and their potential for protest.

The goals of the system are described in the documents as “monitoring controlled Internet resources, finding vulnerable parts of controlled Internet resources, preventing leaks of protected data, including service and confidential information, and the creation of reports.”