Author Topic: Sneak Preview of the Coming Surveillance State  (Read 101 times)

Cramulus

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Sneak Preview of the Coming Surveillance State
« on: Yesterday at 02:06:38 pm »
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Russia under President Vladimir Putin has pioneered authoritarian tech: Last year, the Kremlin leader approved measures that would enable the creation of a "sovereign" Russian internet, able to be firewalled from the rest of the world.

The Covid-19 pandemic is now giving Russian authorities an opportunity to test new powers and technology, and the country's privacy and free-speech advocates worry the government is building sweeping new surveillance capabilities.

Perhaps the most well-publicized tech tool in Russia's arsenal for fighting coronavirus is Moscow's massive facial-recognition system. Rolled out earlier this year, the surveillance system had originally prompted an unusual public backlash, with privacy advocates filing lawsuits over unlawful surveillance.
Coronavirus, however, has given an unexpected public-relations boost to the system.

Last week, Moscow police claimed to have caught and fined 200 people who violated quarantine and self-isolation using facial recognition and a 170,000-camera system. According to a Russian media report some of the alleged violators who were fined had been outside for less than half a minute before they were picked up by a camera.

"We want there to be even more cameras so that that there is no dark corner or side street left," Oleg Baranov, Moscow's police chief, said in a recent briefing, adding that the service is currently working to install an additional 9,000 cameras.

The system has also been used to analyze the social networks of those who have or are suspected of having coronavirus. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin described in his official blog how municipal authorities tracked a Chinese woman who flew to the city from Beijing back in February.

While a test eventually came back negative, Sobyanin said the authorities located the taxi driver who took the woman home from the airport, a friend she met outside her apartment block in violation of the quarantine, and collected data on all 600 people living in her building.

And then there's the use of geolocation to track coronavirus carriers. Epidemiologists see tracking and data-crunching as one important tool for tracking and localizing outbreaks, but Russia has taken a distinctive approach. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin earlier this week ordered Russia's Ministry of Communications to roll out a tracking system based on "the geolocation data from the mobile providers for a specific person" by the end of this week.

In other words, the data hoovered up by the system will not be anonymous: According to a description in the government decree, information gathered under the tracking system will be used to send texts to those who have come into contact with a coronavirus carrier, and to notify regional authorities so they can put individuals into quarantine.

Such measures have prompted little public debate.

it goes on to describe similar (but less invasive) measures in South Korea, Israel, and the EU.

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"The difference lies with the countries that have a higher culture of privacy and a significant limitation of access and use of this data," said Sarkis Darbinyan, a lawyer with Roskomsvoboda, a non-government organization that tracks online freedoms in Russia. "The scariest thing is that the epidemic will end someday, but these measures I'm sure will stay."


https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/29/europe/russia-coronavirus-authoritarian-tech-intl/index.html

LuciferX

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Re: Sneak Preview of the Coming Surveillance State
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 10:02:53 pm »
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In other words, the data hoovered up by the system will not be anonymous: According to a description in the government decree, information gathered under the tracking system will be used to send texts to those who have come into contact with a coronavirus carrier, and to notify regional authorities so they can put individuals into quarantine.

Spatiotemporal metadata (GPS) is collected and analyzed in a way that used to be considered “not personally identifiable,” for example, due to limited resolution. This is no longer the case, particularly when cross referenced to WiFi (yay, 5G.) Given the current State of Exception, I feel compelled to permit the use of extant surveillance technologies to stop pandemic. The scariest thing however is not that after pandemic ends the measures (of Rule) will stay, but that they were already in play.
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The Johnny

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Re: Sneak Preview of the Coming Surveillance State
« Reply #2 on: Today at 12:25:05 am »

Russia pioneering this shit? Pff

Just as China provided the world of Covid, its also providing the model for a police state with its "Reeducation (concentration) camps" in XinJiang, it's social credit system and its gargantuan public surveillance systems... ever heard of the "Great Firewall of China"?

I mean, kudos to Russia for implementing it, but they're just catching up.
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Cain

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Re: Sneak Preview of the Coming Surveillance State
« Reply #3 on: Today at 09:49:45 am »
Taiwan is currently using mobile phones to log and enforce social distancing. If more than a certain number of mobiles are seen clustered together, the police will come and investigate.

I like to think that we here all know that a mobile phone is essentially a mobile tracking device by now, but I read about someone in Taiwan whose battery ran down without them realising. Within 20 minutes, the police turned up to ask what was going on.

To have the level of precision to be able to do both of the above things means you have near real-time complete imaging of the country, coupled with a warning system and a rapid-reaction force to go. The infrastructure behind it is already in place.