Staunton, Nov. 28 – Many Russians are complaining about the introduction of QR codes or digital passports, Anatoly Nesmiyan who blogs under the screen name El Murid says; but the real problem is not in these technologies but “in the ideology of the regime which intends to use them for terror.”
And because that is the case, he continues, this and other forms of terror will continue to be employed as long as this regime exists. The codes and digital passports are “simply an instrument” which in the hands of the Putin regime are destructive of the rights and freedoms of Russians (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=61A475998AC2A).
In fact, Nesmiyan says, the regime benefits from the fact that Russians associate these technologies not with state control but with the pandemic. That means that they assume they will disappear when the pandemic ends and won’t be used for other means. But both assumptions are wrong.
The Kremlin has no intention of dispensing with QR codes or digital passports anytime soon if at all. Instead, it plans to expand their use with ever more data entered in them to allow the authorities more effectively to monitor the activities of the population and control what ordinary people do.
If the QR codes were in fact limited to fighting the pandemic, they might be an entirely good thing; but they aren’t at least in Russia. Consequently, it is entirely appropriate for Russians to resist them before they find themselves locked up in a digital GULAG.