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Federal investigators reportedly say ex-journalist charged with treason used home computer and free encryption software to share classified data with Czech intelligence
Investigators at Russia’s Federal Security Service reportedly believe that Ivan Safronov, the former journalist charged with treason, sent classified information to Czech intelligence agents using his home computer. Ivan Pavlov, the “Team 29” human rights lawyer defending Safronov, told the state news agency Interfax that the indictment in the case claims that the secret data was transmitted using the freeware “VeraCrypt.” As passwords, Safronov allegedly used excerpts from the English-language translation of Roy Medvedev’s 2002 book “Post-Soviet Russia: A Journey Through the Yeltsin Era.”
After a decade as a reporter for the newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti, Ivan Safronov spent a few months working as an advisor to the head of Russia’s national space agency before he was arrested on July 7. Because Safronov’s alleged activity concerns national security, most details of his case remain a mystery. Officials reportedly believe he shared secret information with Czech intelligence, who were in turn supposedly working with the U.S. government. Safronov maintains his innocence and his defense attorneys say his prosecution is retaliation for his work as a journalist. Members of the Russian media have picketed repeatedly in his support.
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