Russians Protest Against Electronic Monitoring

Russians are against the introduction of Tax Identification Numbers (INN) and any kind of electronic control. 1O million people (predominantly Russian Orthodox)are protesting the data collection and profiling these cards are capable of,  many avoid INN and any documents containing electronic chips. Demonstrators have been burning passports and pension certificates as a protest.

In December, unreported by other media, the deceived shareholders of  Joint stock company MMK (Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Company)went on hunger-strike and burnt  their Russian passports and pension certificates as they could not find any other means to make themselves heard. The press is nevertheless silent. (MMK shares are incidentally quoted on the London Stock Exchange)

Russian Patriarch Cyril (Leader of the Russian Orthodox Church) has written a letter which has urged Government to protect the rights of the citizens refusing an INN and other systems of data gathering,

The majority of  people refusing Tax numbers, electronic chips and other means that open an access to the information on the person are from the Russian Christian Orthodox who are afraid, “that use of new technologies can lead to total ideological and other control over the person”. Patriarch Cyril considers such consequences probable. “Technical possibilities allow to trace the personal contacts, movement and purchases made by means of cards for calculations. The data collected as a result of total tracking of a person can be collected in one database”, – quotes Russian agency the letter of Patriarch. . The patriarch considers that the INN seriously limits the rights of many orthodox citizens, and, probably, “it is necessary to think of some alternative system “.

Russian orthodox priests stated fears about shadowing control over citizens. Some church communities have openly opposed assignment of numbers INN numbers and have even applied to courts. Orthodox believers uncompromising belief is: according to the Bible and set of apocryphal prophecies, in number to what is an INN, “the Number of the Beast ” is hidden. In 2001 Synod commission RPTS recognized that ” to bear a Tax Number is not a sin”. But many believers prefer to trust the Bible.

Orthodox believers recently sent letters of the protest against the introduction of the “Electronic Russia” system. The protest remained unanswered. Nevertheless the portal of “Electronic Russia”, that cost £2M  to build has after opening very briefly had to shut down much to many peoples satisfaction.

Some time earlier the Federal Tax Service website gave the opportunity to everyone to log into a  web service called “Private Office of the Tax Bearer” . This rather reasonable and useful undertaking, however, has become note worthy , oddly enough : for data acquisition, as it is enough to enter only a name and an INN for access.  As the INN is not classified information it is fairly simple for anyone on the web to snoop on about just about any citizen of Russia and the approximate value of his/her property etc.

I learned of a database on all soviet citizens gathered by KGB, thoroughly reseached through dozens of years in the turmoil of perestroika it ended up in the hands of criminals and blackmailers.  Then it was amended and updated on a permanent basis.

Once a few years ago in a shabby workhouse in a suburban area in Moscow where I was sent by a friend to get some much needed information essential for my self preservation , I watched an old man log on to an old computer, he went into the database and let me see all the compromising material held on the people who were trying to give me a hard time and misappropriate my holdings in certain property. I looked at my own page too and found myself to be a bona-fide citizen according to this underground database. Sometimes good to know!

Beware. In a time of turmoil confidential data will slip from the Government’s hands and it is all likely to be used against you whoever holds it!


2 Responses to “Russians Protest Against Electronic Monitoring”

  1. It’s all big brother, in Italy as in the UK we are further down the electronic tagging, (face it thats what it is)by passports and ID and credit/bank cards, hopefully the fact we can’t afford to role out ID cards in the UK for the time being not to mention the reasons for having them have been completely discredited we may keep a little privacy for longer!!!!

    • I totally agree!
      The UK Government also have such a great track record with data management and confidentiality(LOL) so not looking forward to the prospect of them centralising everthing!

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