Russia wants to force taxis to hand over passenger data to security services

The document drawn up by the government and published Wednesday evening on the Duma website provides that taxi services, which are very popular in Russia and used via mobile applications, will be obliged to provide the FSB with real-time access to its order databases.

It is a very difficult measure to implement. But that doesn’t mean it’s not necessary“, MP Adalbi Chkhagochev, a member of the Duma’s security and anti-corruption committee, told the Ria Novosti news agency, stressing that it was a question of “security“National.

Until now, the FSB could obtain this information if it filed a formal request with the companies, which had 30 days to respond, according to the chairwoman of the Civilian Council for the Development of Taxis in Russian Regions, Irina Zaripova.

Many are frightened that the FSB can receive real-time passenger information at any time.“, she told Russian radio station Kommersant FM in late March, when the idea was first floated by Russia’s transport ministry.

But when it comes to national security, very often there are situations when something happened and FSB agents need to have this data practically within an hour to solve a crime or prevent it“, she explained, assuring that “no one is going to monitor this data from morning to night“.

It goes beyond the bounds. Being followed without his knowledge without permission… I prefer not to use a taxi anymore“, commented to AFP in Moscow Yacha Aliev, a 24-year-old economics student.

Kristina Kochéléva, 23, an employee of the customer support service of Yandex.Plus, confesses to being “uncomfortable“: “but I think that even without that, they already know everything“, she adds.

Russia has further increased restrictions on civil liberties since the start of its offensive in Ukraine on February 24.

The country notably blocked access to the popular social networks Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and brought legal action against the Meta group, accusing it of spreading “calls for murder“against the Russians.

The country has also strengthened its legislative arsenal which makes it possible to punish with heavy fines or prison sentences anyone found guilty of having “discredited“the army or published of”false information” about her.

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