What's the Latest Development?

Soon, the Moscow metro police will be able to track individuals' movement through the city's ornate underground transport system by reading data from the cellular phones. "Moscow Metro police chief Andrei Mokhov said stations would be equipped with sensors capable of reading data carried on a phone’s SIM card in order to track stolen devices, according to the Izvestia daily. If the sensors register a number reported to the police as stolen, they feed the information to locally installed CCTV cameras, which then snap photos of whoever is using the phone."

What's the Big Idea?

While the metro police say the system is intended to deter petty theft, others recognize the dual capacity of the tracking technology. "Alexander Ivanchenko, head of the Russian Security Industry Association, speculated that the system would grant the security services a greater degree of control. 'It is obvious that the cost of such a system is incomparable to the value of all stolen phones,' he told Izvestia." Because the small data cards inside Russians' phones are property of the network providers, the tracking system falls within the government's authority to track "company property."

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