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Russia Rejects Proposal To Ban Skype, Gmail

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MOSCOW -- A Kremlin official has rejected a proposal from within Russia's main domestic security agency to ban Skype, Gmail and Hotmail as a major threat to national security.

A senior FSB official made the proposal Friday, according to Russian news agencies. It came after cyber attacks on Russia's most popular blogging site and the website of a popular independent newspaper this week.

While a Kremlin official condemned the cyber attacks on condition of anonymity Saturday and dismissed the proposal to ban foreign Internet services, commentators saw them as an attempt by authorities to tighten controls on communications before parliamentary elections in December and a presidential vote next March.

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