According to France24, Russia has wasted no time in rolling out her own surveillance system on the public, combining mobile apps and phones that can be tracked by police or agents of the government.
Moscow is rolling out a mobile phone app and scannable bar codes to check whether people are adhering to strict isolation rules during lockdown, an official said Wednesday.
The city authorities in the Russian capital have ordered Muscovites to stay at home and closed all non-essential businesses as part of measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The app, due online Thursday, will “ensure self-discipline”, said Eduard Lysenko, the head of Moscow city hall’s information technology department. Users’ personal data would remain secure, he added.
The technology is a test version designed to monitor coronavirus patients ordered to stay home, Lysenko told the Echo of Moscow radio station.
It would not be required for the rest of the capital’s 12 million residents, he added.
And in a separate initiative, Muscovites will have to apply for a QR code — a scannable barcode on their phone — from city officials online each time they want to leave their homes, Lysenko said.
Law enforcement officers will have powers to check people on the street for their authorisation barcode.
Currently, Muscovites are only allowed to leave their homes to walk their dogs, take out trash and visit their nearest shop or pharmacy.
The barcode system will be unveiled when local government approves the legislation, Lysenko said.
Prison time, fines for lockdown violations
Moscow city authorities introduced a lockdown from Monday for all residents of the capital.
Parliament on Tuesday passed legislation introducing prison sentences of up to seven years in cases where breaking quarantine resulted in the deaths of two or more people.
Fines of up to 50,000 rubles ($640) would also be imposed on people violating the isolation rules.
Announcing the lockdown last week, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin had said the new rules would (source)
These fines are very heavy. The average Russian salary is about $8000 USD, so they are about a month’s wage- maybe equal to a fine of $3000 to $5000 in the US.
But the bigger issue is not the fines. It is as before the virus as a means of control.
In China, there is a practical requirement that all people have smartphones, and that the smartphone is tied to the whole AI social network system of monitoring that tracks everything a person does for “social credit.”
Similar things appear to be coming into practice in the US, like in Russia, in the name of “tracking” people who have COVID-19.
This is a highly dangerous step, because COVID-19 is being provided as the legitimizing force in Russia just as it is in the US.
This is not limited to one area. It is all over the world.
While the Internet brought many freedoms, it also has bound the world together never closer than before, and as things are turning towards tyranny now, it may become that the very tool meant to free man and did for a long time will be used to enslave him in a way that is equally not yet seen before in history.