According to NYT, Russia is seeding surveillance to monitor domestic antiwar sentiment.
"The firms — with names like MFI Soft, Vas Experts and Protei — generally got their start building pieces of Russia’s invasive telecom wiretapping system before producing more advanced tools for the country’s intelligence services.
Simple-to-use software that plugs directly into the telecommunications infrastructure now provides a Swiss-army knife of spying possibilities, according to the documents, which include engineering schematics, emails and screen shots. The Times obtained hundreds of files from a person with access to the internal records, about 40 of which detailed the surveillance tools.
One program outlined in the materials can identify when people make voice calls or send files on encrypted chat apps such as Telegram, Signal and WhatsApp. The software cannot intercept specific messages, but can determine whether someone is using multiple phones, map their relationship network by tracking communications with others, and triangulate what phones have been in certain locations on a given day. Another product can collect passwords entered on unencrypted websites.
These technologies complement other Russian efforts to shape public opinion and stifle dissent, like a propaganda blitz on state media, more robust internet censorship and new efforts to collect data on citizens and encourage them to report social media posts that undermine the war."