Founded in 1977, SOUD became fully operational in 1979. The initial rationale for the foundation of SOUD was the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. The initial task for SOUD was to gather and store information about potential foreign hostile forces that might create problems for the USSR during the Olympics. SOUD gathered information on everyone and everything - including their own and foreign embassy personnel. SOUD databanks included files on agents, hostile organizations, journalists, diplomats, cultural and commercial attaches, representatives of airlines, and just about anyone or anything else that potentially qualified as a threat to the Soviet system.
The SOUD headquarters was in Moscow, with a master radio transmission station just outside Moscow. SOUD units were based either on the premises of Russian embassies and/or in separate installations. The organization's central computer was located in Moscow, and queries from members were said to be handled in less than 4 hours time. Another main computer center was in East Germany, and a major radio transmission facility was located in Cuba. Part of the message traffic carried on SOUD transmission channels consisted of intelligence and military related material, but most of the traffic was and is standard Russian embassy traffic.
After East and West Germany reunited, the SOUD node and the Stasi archives were soon in the hands of the BND, the West German intelligence agency. SOUD remained operational for a few years as a Russian enterprise, possibly with the participation of a few states such as Vietnam and Cuba. As of 1996 the SOUD liasion network was certainly a thing of the past, although the communications infrastructure continued to be utilized by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the SVR, transmitted by FAPSI.
The Federal Security Service (FSB)is organizing the creation of a joint CIS data bank on organized crime. The system comprises two units. One is open information accessible to all interested CIS special services. The second unit contains is operational information, where the CIS special service that provides the data can impose restrictions on its dissemination to third parties. The joint data bank is being constructed using imported information system. The information includes that related to combating organized crime, drug trafficking, arms smuggling, and nonproliferation of nuclear components. In certain situations the FSB will make such data available to all interested agencies, including special services in the West and NATO countries.