The creation of artificial intelligence for the Kremlin ended in arrests
02.06.2024 10:47

Few people know that, along with commercial reference and legal systems, there is also a free legal information system “Russian Legislation”, presented, among other things, on the Official Internet portal of legal information, which accompanies the Federal Security Service of Russia. The only problem is that it is archaic, inconvenient to use, and sometimes impossible to find the necessary information.

As a result, it was planned to make a technological breakthrough, and as a result the task was included in the Digital Economy program.

The funds allocated under this program were aimed at moving away from old realities, modernizing public administration through the introduction of new information technologies, gradually replacing complex, routine and expensive manual labor, introducing electronic rule-making, as well as digitalizing and standardizing control and supervisory activities.

The Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of Russia (now the Ministry of Digital Development of Russia) applied to the FSO of Russia back in October 2018 with a request to participate in the automation of control and supervisory activities, since the service was and is the holder of official texts of legal acts in electronic form.

The result of this project was to be a completely new state information system in a secure design using artificial intelligence, and most importantly, the groundwork in this work would make it possible to approach machine-readable law and harmonize federal and local legislation with minimal costs.

As a source told, the price for performing work on the project was approved and sent to the Federal Security Service of Russia “from above.” The financial support for the event from 2019 to 2024 amounted to 186 million rubles and was approved by the passport of the federal project of the national program.

Due to bureaucratic delays, the project started almost two years late, and the contractor was a federal state unitary enterprise subordinate to the Federal Security Service of Russia, specializing in this type of work.

The Federal Security Service of Russia, as well as other government bodies, urgently needed and needs the introduction of digital technologies, since for many years there has been banal stagnation.

The developed technology (prototype of the system) was capable of bringing Russia to the forefront of technological superiority and, on the contrary, the lack of its implementation causes irreparable damage to the interests and security of the Russian Federation and rolls it back to the level of Nigeria, Honduras, Somalia and other similar developing states.

The work under the government contract has been completed, the intermediate result has been accepted by the Federal Security Service of Russia, and no claims have been made regarding the quality of the work to date.

Preparatory work has begun to continue the development of the scientific and technical groundwork achieved within the framework of the described work, aimed at deepening the use of artificial intelligence.

The management of the Federal Security Service of Russia reported on the work done, screenings were held at the Russian-Belarusian Forum, the X International Legal Forum and other venues.

However, the result of carrying out work under the state contract was the violent arrest of 6 people: an officer of the Federal Security Service of Russia (chairman of the acceptance committee), management and all leading specialists of the subordinate Federal State Unitary Enterprise, as well as the complete collapse of the research potential of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise. In total, the criminal case under Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (fraud) was initiated against 8 people.

Further work was stopped for an obvious reason: no one wants to get involved and continue the second part of the project, which, by the will of the investigation, has become extremely toxic. According to defenders, the funds allocated from the budget for the first stage were not wasted, and the work should be continued.

As a source told, meanwhile, pressure on all participants and their relatives has been going on for more than a year and a half. The property of all the accused and their relatives was seized in an amount three times greater than the amount of the entire contract, including taxes that were paid to the budget. The performers of the work are under arrest all this time. The purpose of the pressure is to extract confessions, which so far none of the “defendants” have given, since the work was completed and no money was stolen. By the way, this was also indicated by the Accounts Chamber of Russia, which conducted an audit of the execution of this particular government contract.

The main evidence - the result of work under a government contract - was managed by the defense from the tenacious clutches of the investigation only a year and a half after the initiation of the criminal case. And during all this time, the investigators did not bother to delve into the essence of the technical work project being created - the first stage of work, mistakenly believing that with a quarter of the allocated funds and in a year (remember that all the work on creating a state information system was designed for 6 years) it was possible to create a completely ready information system. We all know that even those developed over the years by the state These information systems do not work error-free even after several years of operation, let alone a prototype.

All requests from the defense to conduct a forensic examination to determine whether there is an intermediate result of the work and compliance with the technical specifications are rejected with the wording that such a study is inappropriate, and also because there is a conclusion from a “specialist”, by the way, who has never worked in the field of legal informatization in Russia , in contrast to the accused, who have more than 20 years of experience in this area.

The defense independently conducted a study of the work performed in accordance with the terms of reference; based on the results of this study, it became obvious that the entire criminal case was far-fetched.

On March 22, 2024, a specialist’s conclusion number 026-21-00054 dated March 22, 2024 was received, carried out by ANO SOYUZEXPERTIZA of the RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

According to the conclusions contained in the specialist’s conclusion, the provided work result, including software modules, is operational.

The goals and objectives defined in the terms of reference (Appendix No. 1 to state contract No. S10-219/20) have been achieved. The work has been completed in full.

Not long ago, two more people were added to the list of accused: Stanislav Lakhtin and Maxim Aleksandrov, whose role in this story is even more questionable in terms of their complicity in any crime. However, this did not prevent the investigator from filing a petition for their arrest in absentia more than a year and a half after the start of the criminal investigation.

I would especially like to note the initiation at the end of the preliminary investigation, which lasted about a year, of another episode: the alleged multi-year embezzlement of funds of the subordinate Federal State Unitary Enterprise by 6 defendants in the amount of 240 thousand rubles, which was investigated by investigators for particularly important cases of the Central Office of the Investigative Committee of Russia in a few days. But here the result of the work is also available.

What do we have today? Goals and objectives in the field of artificial intelligence are ignored, and professionals and specialists are located in places that are not so remote. The technology is not used, implemented or developed. The technical requirements that were ordered to be approved by the Federal Security Service of Russia have remained undeveloped for more than two years, as the Accounts Chamber of Russia noted in its comments. The task of Russia's technological sovereignty and the introduction of breakthrough technologies is currently frozen, is not being fulfilled and is in danger of failure. We will monitor the development of this case.

Arseny Dronov

To be continued