According to the Cyber Partisans in their telegram channel, 1.5 terabytes of mp3 recordings were stored on the servers of the Department of Operational Investigative Activities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus and cover the period from January 2020 to June 2021. They reported about the hacking of servers back in August 2021, but the scale of the leak has only now become known.
As proof of the leak, “Cyber Partisans” published recordings of calls to the Russian embassy in Minsk. So, in one of the conversations, a woman who introduced herself as the chief accountant of the embassy discusses with an employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs the working conditions of security in one of the residences of the diplomatic mission. “What do we have with the booth? There you need to put some toilets, some microwaves, some heaters“,” she says. In another conversation, a representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs tells an embassy employee that “the Belarusian truck lies on its side near Kursk“, after which the interlocutors discuss the possibility of evacuating this truck.
Belarusian hacktivists believe that wiretapping of embassy employees may contradict the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, according to which diplomatic correspondence is inviolable.
Belarusian hackers claim that there are still many embassies and consulates of other states on wiretapping and are ready to hand over full recordings with wiretapping metadata to journalists for analysis.
In Belarus, law enforcement officers can listen to citizens on suspicion of committing illegal activities. According to the law “On operational investigative activities”, this can be done “in urgent cases” without the sanction of the prosecutor in almost all cases of suspicion of criminal prosecution or if there is a threat to the national security of the Republic of Belarus – on the basis of a resolution of the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Chairman of the KGB or the head of another law enforcement agency. It is necessary to notify the prosecutor or his deputy about this within 24 hours, and get a sanction within 48 hours. In other words, secret wiretapping without court approval is legal.