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Russia Moves To Universal ID Card

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the current-white-house-will-consult dept.

Government 200

prostoalex writes "On January 1st 2012, the Russian government will start issuing universal ID cards (Russian original) that will replace current national identification system (Russia has a system of internal passports), medical insurance cards, student IDs, public transport passes, and debit cards. The smart card contains unique personal identifiers and allows for multiple levels of authentication. The Russian government is pushing for local government agencies, transportation providers, banks and retail operators to adopt the government-issued ID to streamline their operations."

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In Soviet Russia... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885542)

In Soviet Russia, card identifies you!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (4, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885636)

In Soviet Russia, card identifies you!

Meanwhile, back in the States: "Yes Mr. Bank Teller, that is my card. Oh, you need a second form of identification? My wife says that card is mine, too!"

Patriot Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34886034)

In Soviet Russia, card identifies you!

Meanwhile, back in the States: "Yes Mr. Bank Teller, that is my card. Oh, you need a second form of identification? My wife says that card is mine, too!"

All because of the fucking Patriot Act.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

nagnamer (1046654) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885696)

The problem is not whether the card identifies you or not. It's that you can misplace or have the card stolen for multi-level inconvenience.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (3, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885724)

Double sided tape. Forehead. Problem solved.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

nagnamer (1046654) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885856)

Embedded cards?

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885962)

I don't have a big problem with embedded cards; but its the watchdog that keeps me up at night that I *do* mind.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (3, Informative)

jedrek (79264) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885984)

To be honest, there is no country that I know of where identity theft is a problem as big as it is in the US. I have a national ID card here in Poland, and you know what? It's a HUGE bitch to fake, I suspect it would be easier to steal my identity by faking my passport and driver's license. That still wouldn't do you much good, since I could have any of those three documents invalidated - when you sign any sort of contract here, you put down both your ID/Tax number and your ID number. The corporate equivalent of identity theft is much more prevalent over here.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

jd3nn1s (613014) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886362)

Does that mean that if a criminal has both those numbers he can sign up online for a credit card in your name? I think that is where a lot of identity theft issues come from: being identified by a number with no form of authentication. I've never experienced identity theft myself but I know from moving house that online credit applications never seem to complain when I give an address that isn't already on my credit file. Anyone have any statistics or info on the most common forms of identity theft are in the US?

Re:In Soviet Russia... (2)

aix tom (902140) | more than 3 years ago | (#34887314)

In Germany, he would have to have the number, the card itself, AND he would need to live at your place and look like you.

Any company that wants to make sure you are really you and it's impractical for them to request that you come in in person with your ID card can send a "PostID" form to your residential address. The mail men then checks if the address on your ID card matches, writes the check number of the ID into the form, and returns it. (If your not home he puts a card in the letterbox, and you can go to the post office to have it done)

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34886684)

... and all squash is dissented!

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885546)

The party can always find you.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885614)

In Soviet Russia card identifies you. . . wait?

In Soviet Russia, Card Identifies YOU (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885552)

In Soviet Russia, Card Identifies YOU

In Soviet Russa, (-1, Redundant)

MXPS (1091249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885558)

ID Card knows everything about you!

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Redundant)

incognito84 (903401) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885560)

In Soviet Russia, Soviet Russia watches Soviet Russia!

Good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885578)

This will make forging identities much easier.

Hurray (1)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885582)

Hurray, now it only takes one flawed system to destroy someones life.

Re:Hurray (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885768)

I live in a country without a national ID system (the population actively voted againt it).
As an IT professional, I'd love a unique key on people.
As an individual it terrify's me.
And yet, I have friends in other countries with a national ID and frankly (in their opinion), it rocks.
I guess I'm just worried about how things could go horribly wrong.

Re:Hurray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34886110)

Or a typo.

Replace debit cards? (1)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885608)

will replace current national identification system... debit cards.

So it's basically one card that replaces everything? What if I want multiple debit cards from multiple banks?

I like and want to keep my multiple cards.

Re:Replace debit cards? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885638)

This is Russia, right? You can have multiple potatoes, multiple corrupt politicians. You don't need multiple credit/debit cards.

Re:Replace debit cards? (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885640)

One Card to rule them all, One Party to find them, One System to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

(Apologies to JRRT)

Re:Replace debit cards? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885728)

How did this get scored 2? Its a travesty, this is simultaneously comedy and literary gold!

Cursed mods... bump the score up!

Re:Replace debit cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34887214)

In the land of Stalin, where the Commies lie.

Re:Replace debit cards? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885750)

Governments seem to have this odd fascination with the idea of transitioning the world into a cashless society.

Re:Replace debit cards? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886888)

Governments seem to have this odd fascination with the idea of transitioning the world into a cashless society.

Nothing odd about it. It's harder to evade taxes without cash. Though if governments were to succeed in eliminating cash, I suspect that organized crime would likely create its own equivalent thereof. And informal barter economies would become more prevalent.

Re:Replace debit cards? (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34887076)

that would be great, maybe the bit coin could gain some respect

Re:Replace debit cards? (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885838)

No. Reading the Russian explanation it looks like a card that can be refused by filling out a refusal form (so not mandatory), it is only for government federal and local services, and, loosely quoting the explanation "has potential to be used elsewhere".

Since this is a company site, it is likely too optimistic about the card.

Too lazy to read the law, maybe some Russian slashdoter can step in and explain better.

Re:Replace debit cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885940)

Basically I think it was around a year ago they stopped issuing international passports without a microchip... and they're moving in that direction now with all forms of government ID... so it's going to end up this way for everything, internal ID, drivers license etc... give it about 10 years and every form of gov issued ID in RU will be like this. But it's only on slashdot or among privacy advocates in countries with a high GDP per capita that anybody thinks twice about this or a debate even exists. When you're talking about a country with such a large population and that most of them live in hell... they have bigger concerns than this which they don't know about, and if you tell them "hey you internal ID is going to have a micochip which can track you in theory" the reply would be "WTF" in a who cares kind of way. Like look on the Russian news the last week in my town, some drunk tried to light his central heating on fire and the neighbours had to call the police before he blew up the building... , ice blocks are falling off the roofs of buildings and killing pedestrians from time to time (happens every winter), this has never had a mention and if it ever did nobody would think twice about it.

Re:Replace debit cards? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885970)

Reading the Russian explanation it looks like a card that can be refused by filling out a refusal form

this isn't a network card is it?

might then be the first (wait for it) refuse-NIC

thank you. I'll be here all week.

Re:Replace debit cards? (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886006)

Well, since its purpose is to identify by providing your name on it, I guess you could call it Name Identification Card.

Then refuse it.

Re:Replace debit cards? (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885848)

They'll just be assigned to your unique ID. Like showing your license to get a checking account. All your account link back to you.

Re:Replace debit cards? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885938)

So sort of like a Social Security card except without the promise of only using it for one thing.

Re:Replace debit cards? (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34887114)

honesty is always a plus, even if its white lies

Re:Replace debit cards? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886174)

TFA sais you *can* connect it to your bank account. Even though this is just a translation, I have the feeling that it actually is the idea behind it. You may be able to connect it to the bank account of each bank if you want to.

Esonia has used ID cards for some time (3, Insightful)

$criptah (467422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885620)

Estonia has used ID cards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_ID_card) for some time and I am seriously surprised that more governments are not following the same footsteps. While the cards may introduce new security concerns, imagine the amount of bureaucracy that can be reduced if citizens can pay everything from traffic tickets to taxes using a simple card.

Re:Esonia has used ID cards for some time (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885676)

Why even have the card? Sooner than we may think, the chips the size of a grain of rice will allow us to make payments, or identify us so we can be brought in for questioning about our Facebook postings. Think of the savings to society!

Re:Esonia has used ID cards for some time (4, Insightful)

nagnamer (1046654) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885760)

Why even have the card? Sooner than we may think, the chips the size of a grain of rice will force us to make payments, or identify us so we can be brought in for questioning about our Facebook postings.

There, fixed that for ya.

Re:Esonia has used ID cards for some time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885826)

This is one case in which bureaucratic inefficiency is most certainly your friend.

Re:Esonia has used ID cards for some time (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886516)

This is one case in which bureaucratic inefficiency is most certainly your friend.

In Soviet Russia, if you want a cop, then there he is.

Re:Esonia has used ID cards for some time (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885872)

Estonia has used ID cards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_ID_card) for some time and I am seriously surprised that more governments are not following the same footsteps. While the cards may introduce new security concerns, imagine the amount of bureaucracy that can be reduced if citizens can pay everything from traffic tickets to taxes using a simple card.

"may introduce new security concerns" huh? The Russian Mob must be drooling. No more having to forge 30 different documents. 1 to crack and you own (or create) someone.

Re:Esonia has used ID cards for some time (5, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886652)

Russian mob doesn't need to forge documents, mate. They're the guys in power!

Re:Esonia has used ID cards for some time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34886916)

So true!

Re:Esonia has used ID cards for some time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34886012)

Imagine the amount of bureaucracy that can be reduced for the state when it wants to track down information on you. The last Labour government in the UK tried this along with various other crackpot schemes to be able to monitor the population. Something like this is absolutely guaranteed to be feature creeped until everything you do has to go via the state, or the whole thing implodes from bloat. I'll keep my bureaucracy and my privacy, thanks.

Re:Esonia has used ID cards for some time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34886152)

"If it can work in Estonia, it will work anywhere!"

To anyone who has had this thought cross their mind in a non-sarcastic manner, please leave the internet. Thank you.

Re:Esonia has used ID cards for some time (1)

TheRedDuke (1734262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886210)

Yep, because if there's anything a totalitarian regime fronting a puppet representitive government needs, it's a more efficient way to handle the bloat entailed in trampling the rights/privacy of its populace.

Re:Esonia has used ID cards for some time (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886788)

Belgium has identity cards as well. Want to know what is on the cards? Read the code. Available for Windows, Mac and Linux. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_identity_card [wikipedia.org] This makes it easy to be used for online things and many people already use it to do their taxes online.

You are required to carry it with you at all times. I was asked once to show my ID. The next day I saw they were doing the same with somebody else who had about the same clothing and the same build I had, so they were clearly looking for somebody very specific.

So with the openness of what is on it and the knowledge that it is not abused, I feel happy with it. However I would not want everything on one single card.

Re:Esonia has used ID cards for some time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34887036)

In Russia things like this are introduced not to replace bloated bureaucracy, but to (a) create more bureaucracy and (b) assign a juicy piece of the federal budget to the right business. It is an extra layer of oppression for every Russian who is NOT involved in the exciting activity of Sharing the Budget With Friends.

There's always cons (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885626)

it will also streamline theft operations as thieves now need to steal only one card.

Actually, there was one idea I liked... (3, Informative)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885788)

There is a PIN to use it, of course, but there is supposed to be a "decoy" PIN, so if you are forced to enter your PIN by the bad guys, it, apparently, looks like it was successful ("buys you some time") but (in theory) alerts someone and triggers police response.

Paul B.

The Universal electronic card is safe because... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885648)

  • The data is stored in the cloud, but it's under the supervision of the state, and don't worry, if you lose your card they won't lose your data!
  • The card's security is under the careful supervision of the state.
  • You can use a fake PIN if you're under duress, which will alert the authorities to come help you.
  • Everything you do with the card can be monitored from a central portal site.
  • They can only be issued and circulated by the state.

Frankly I'm pretty annoyed we haven't got one of these in my country!

Re:The Universal electronic card is safe because.. (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885798)

Frankly I'm pretty annoyed we haven't got one of these in my country!

I don't even care if my country gets one card, I just wish the branches of government would talk to each other so any change doesn't require a million calls.

When my wife and I got married it took two separate government organizations just to make the marriage official, then she had to contact six of them to let them know her name had changed. When we moved we had to update our drivers licenses, health cards, income tax info, etc.... Meanwhile half these services were in the same building.

Re:The Universal electronic card is safe because.. (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886282)

Ah that is bureaucracy working for you. Because they don't talk to each other it is that much harder for the government to get information about you.

Re:The Universal electronic card is safe because.. (2)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886438)

Senator Edward "Teddy" Kennedy was hassled at the airports because "T Kennedy" was on one of those no-fly lists. It was the wrong Kennedy, of course, but better safe than sorry.

Don't assume that the government won't act on the basis of incomplete information. A cudgel can be as effective as a scalpel, in the wrong hands.

Re:The Universal electronic card is safe because.. (1)

nagnamer (1046654) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885816)

  • Everything you do with the card can be monitored from a central portal site.

That's exactly what's it about. And it's not just Russia that wants this.

Re:The Universal electronic card is safe because.. (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886630)

I suppose it would make the line outside the Pearly Gates move a little more quickly.

Re:The Universal electronic card is safe because.. (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886912)

I suppose it would make the line outside the Pearly Gates move a little more quickly.

There's no line at the Pearly Gates. If for no other reason than lack of customers. No matter what the guy in front of you says, that inscription above the entrance, "Lasciate ogne speranza voi ch'intrate", is not Church Latin for "Welcome to the Kingdom of God".

Re:The Universal electronic card is safe because.. (2)

HiMorons (1951132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885894)

"The data is stored in the cloud, but it's under the supervision of the state, and don't worry, if you lose your card they won't lose your data!" LOL!! Yeah, data being in the "cloud" under the supervision of the state takes away ALL worry I could possibly have.

were there any advantages to Russia... (2)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885652)

Were there any advantages to the Russian people of the fall of the Soviet Union? Ignore the half a dozen oligarchs whose limits on greedy and corrupt behaviour were lifted. Consider the other 141 million people.

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885682)

The other 141 million people are now not spying on each other as a means of appeasing the people spying on them.

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885694)

Actually, there have been a lot of reports indicating that the FSB's internal surveillance, including informants, has reached an extent that the KGB never reached in the USSR.

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885844)

That's absurd... it's nothing at all like the USSR stuff, the RU security services couldn't possibly care less about the average person. And the average person here for better or worse has no real interest in democracy one way or the other or whether your documents have a microchip or not. They have no reason to spy on 99.99% of the population because 99.99% of the population in 2010 is doing nothing of interest and supporting nothing of interest that could possibly be of interest to the FSB or any other 3 letter agencies. Most people here are more concerned with making some sort of living, drinking and smoking than politics. People like Kasparov represent a very small minority for better or for worse because most people don't care about politics. That's mostly it. It's true in Moscow that you need to carry your internal ID. Whilst legally you need to carry it anywhere in Russia, most people only carry it when they go out in Moscow since that's the only city where you might be stopped to have your documents checked. In other cities you could live for 10 years without being asked once for identification.

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (1)

HiMorons (1951132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885908)

How would they know that 99% of people are doing nothing of interest if they don't spy on them to find out?

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885852)

Er, no.

I'm going to let Google make me look smarter than I am, here, since I haven't seen this story before:

Why the FSB is not the KGB! [opendemocracy.net]

They can cite you for refusing to talk to them, but the citation comes with no punishment. And you can get a court to tell them to fuck off entirely if they're bothering you.

They can still investigate your shady neighbors, boss, and parents, but they can't lean on you to do their investigation for them.

End of an era.

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885700)

Any evidence that 141 million people spied on each other? I'm happy to compare and contrast Soviet surveillance in the 1980s with US surveillance today, if it puts things into context.

Perhaps you're thinking of the GDR? We're not talking about whether Soviet satellite states are better off today.

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (1, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885812)

Is that "the narrative" these days? That the world was better off when the Soviet Union was around? Here's a summary of a book I've been reading, I picked it up at the Half Price Books near a university along with a lot of other books about Marxism (mostly Chinese, but this one was a buck so I threw it in). We all know what happens when far-right fanatics get into power, and we couldn't avoid this knowledge if we wanted to. However, what happens when the extreme left jumps in the saddle is rarely discussed in any detail, perhaps because 90% of university professors in America label themselves as being "liberal or very liberal" in their political opinions, and are generally sympathetic to the iconic figures of communism (Che, Castro, Marx, etc.) if not to communism itself. You could take a course on Nazi Germany at my undergraduate alma mater, actually several of them, but there were no courses on Stalin or the history of applied communism. Perhaps because of this sympathy, and because it failed so catastrophically everywhere it reared its ugly head, the topic is smothered in silence. This book should be mandatory reading for anyone still clinging to romantic fantasies about communism, or for that matter, any middle-class college student who thinks wearing a Che t-shirt makes an intelligent political statement.

Viktor Suvorov (real name Vladimir Bogdanovich Rezun), who grew up under communism, has never kept silent on what it was like to live in a society operating under Marxist-Leninist philosophy. He was a former member of the Soviet GRU who later defected to Britain during the height of the cold war. Suvorov revels in exposing the Soviet leviathan as lumbering, corrupt, unspeakably cruel and yet almost comically inefficient - a year's supply of anti-magnetic paint is used up whitewashing rocks because an admiral wants an improved-looking coastline; thousands of tons of chemical fertilizer are dumped into the Volga River (creating an environmental catastrophe) because the Party didn't make adequate preparations to store it; military exercises are run which leave the country defenseless; soldiers are sentenced to barbarous punishments for the slightest infractions; generals keep private harems and use military resources to construct fabulous dachas; incompetent drunks are promoted to important posts simply to get rid of them. Nothing works, the bureacracy is suffocating, one has to bribe officials to get them to do their jobs and secret police stooges are everywhere, ignoring corruption and crime but mercilessly punishing political unorthodoxy. By the time Suvorov was a young lieutenant, he understood the Soviet habit of substituting the word "hell" with "communism." So you can imagine his feelings when, in the summer of '68, the Soviet army was sent to Czechoslovakia to crush the burgeoning democratic movement there. Expecting to be greeted as liberators, the naive Soviets were pelted with eggs, rocks and rotten tomatoes, cursed roundly and told to stop doing to Eastern Europe what they had done to their own country. That, and seeing how much better off Czechoslovakia was than Russia, was so psychologically devastating to the liberators that the Soviet government sent most of them to the Chinese frontier for the rest of their military service, lest they start asking too many unfortunate questions. The Liberators is a half-tragic, half-comic book, one which shows the amusing and yet painful coming-to-consciousness of a young man who wakes up one day to discover that he is not a liberator but an inmate - and his country a prison. 200 pages. A must read for everyone.

take a writing course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885870)

before writing another single word, incoherent babble man

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885902)

And do you have any evidence Russia has changed a lot?

I am not suggesting that State Capitalism/Stalinism/USSR style communism are good things, merely that it seems Russia has had these kinds of problems since time immemorial.

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (4, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885904)

That post was a whole lot of appeal to emotion (ignored) plus half a dozen examples (quoted below) of corruption and incompetence which are nothing to do with communism and everything to do with typical behaviour of humans in power.

a year's supply of anti-magnetic paint is used up whitewashing rocks because an admiral wants an improved-looking coastline; thousands of tons of chemical fertilizer are dumped into the Volga River (creating an environmental catastrophe) because the Party didn't make adequate preparations to store it; military exercises are run which leave the country defenseless; soldiers are sentenced to barbarous punishments for the slightest infractions; generals keep private harems and use military resources to construct fabulous dachas; incompetent drunks are promoted to important posts simply to get rid of them.

So, is your argument that similar inefficiencies and corruptions cannot be found in Western governments and corporations? Or what exactly are you trying to say?

Note that I didn't say "Soviet communism was great; capitalism sucks!" I asked whether the people of Russia are any better off now than before the Soviet Union. I've asked it lots of times to many people. I've heard lots of "yeah it's much better!" from those who have prospered financially, and lots of "no it sucks!" from those who have lost various securities. I've never been provided with a well-researched answer which tries to make an objective study of the change in quality of life throughout the country. Surely someone, somewhere has been interested in answering the question from a sociological/psychological/anthropological point of view rather than taking the opportunity to start a political rant.

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886342)

dunno, i guess at least the basic needs where covered.

Yes there are answers (4, Informative)

Atmchicago (555403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886360)

Plenty of people have studied it. The rough answer is that 40% of Russians are much much better off, and 60% of Russians are worse off financially. Overall, this amounts to a net gain, but it isn't evenly spread. Crime is higher today than it was in the Soviet Union. There is more freedom of speech today than there was before. You don't have to look very hard to find these numbers - don't take my word for it, do the research.

Re:Yes there are answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34886892)

You don't have to look very hard to find these numbers

Ok. So [citation needed] should be no difficulty for you then?

impatience (1)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34887296)

The problem is that you (and they) are asking the question too soon. Learning how to deal with a government that recognizes the inherent freedom of the individual is scary, and takes some time, even when the people are brave enough to go for it.

Whether they will end up better off or not is up to them.

We used to say that and know, deep inside, that we were lying. Now, there is a chance, even if it doesn't yet look very promising.

To my way of thinking, that such a question can even be asked is indication of a fundamental shift, even though the conservatives are dragging their feet and trying to bring back the old familiar ways of keeping their security back.

Security, at any rate, is an illusion, always was.

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (1)

jiteo (964572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885952)

Where are mod points when you need them. I want to mod you up so badly, while burrying that AC down there who's too lazy to read paragraphs longer than two lines, and who hasn't heard of capitalization or punctuation while hypocritically dismissing your writing.

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886662)

Is that "the narrative" these days? That the world was better off when the Soviet Union was around?

He didn't say anything about "the world". He did say "Russian people".

Viktor Suvorov (real name Vladimir Bogdanovich Rezun)

... is a known falsifier of history who has been exposed by numerous credible researchers in the field, both Russian and Western.

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (4, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886846)

Suvorov is a notorious defector who has a massive axe to grind. I would not take his words at their face value without a boulder-sized grain of salt.

I've talked to a few ex-USSR folks at work. They say for most people life was better back then. Social safety net was stronger, there was certainty in the future, there was industry (yes, including the massive military-industrial complex), people were generally paid well, science and engineering were strong, and there was no shortage of work. In fact by law you could end up in jail for _not_ working, but the law in question was rarely applied. You basically could say, with high probability, how your life would play out. I.e. finish high school, go to the university, become engineer or a scientist, get employment, get paid 150 rubles a month as a start (+yearly bonus), get in line for government subsidized housing, eventually get an apartment, buy a crappy Soviet car, work until you're 60 years old, retire.

Sure, the opportunity to get rich wasn't there, and sure you couldn't buy much in the way of western stuff (except for perhaps jeans), but realistically, only a small percentage of people become really rich, and they weren't into "stuff" back then anyway. Many compare USSR to North Korea, but really, there's no basis for such comparison. There was no "dear leader", no cult of personality and no famine (not since the 30's anyway, but then again the US was pretty shitty in the 30's as well).

Compare it to now: Moscow is really prosperous, and the rest of the country can barely make the ends meet. Those in power steal astronomical sums of taxpayer money (remember the old apparatchiks didn't need to steal, they were set for life by the government) with impunity. Corruption is horrifying, everything is bought and sold, and in some cases you don't even need to pay - just get the right guy to make a phone call. Government pensions to the retirees are laughable and impossible to live on. Oligarchs illegally privatized people's property (through rigged auctions etc) for pennies on the dollar, and now exploit those same people, paying them barely enough to buy food. Infrastructure is crumbling. And so on and so forth.

In other words, it's pretty bad there right now. But on the other hand, the folks at least have an opportunity to leave, which wasn't the case before.

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (2)

Thomasje (709120) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886860)

what happens when the extreme left jumps in the saddle is rarely discussed in any detail, perhaps because 90% of university professors in America label themselves as being "liberal or very liberal" in their political opinions, and are generally sympathetic to the iconic figures of communism (Che, Castro, Marx, etc.) if not to communism itself.

90% of American university professors are sympathetic to Che, Castro, or Marx? You sound like an Eastern European who hasn't yet adjusted to life in the West. Support for USSR-style Communism has never been more than marginal in the West, partly because people here just plain don't like that ideology, but mostly because we really, really hate totalitarianism.

Re:were there any advantages to Russia... (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886294)

Russia fucked up the transition - Herculean task anyways - and we "helped" out with our HBS and McKinsey aholes. Russians hate us for the Yeltsin years, with some good reasons.

Still, after dissolving USSR, they don't need to send their army to Tzechs, Hungary, etc., only to the Caucaus these days. Saved them a mint. Also nice bit of business selling oil and gas to the West.

It's too bad we couldn't send all the HBS and McKinsey geniuses and keep them in Russia. We could pay Ruskies to keep them in Siberian gulags - that's what I call win-win-win.

...Russia has a system of internal passports... (0)

Enter the Shoggoth (1362079) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885684)

Papers please!

ID cards can be wonderful for privacy (2)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885704)

I was just thinking that this is a privacy nightmare. However, if you make it so that each entity that needs to query the card gets its own id unique to the pair of queryer and card, instead of having one id for everything, then it can be just like having lots of different cards that just happen to inhabit the same physical space. So e.g. a hotel you check into can scan your card to know that they can track you down if you don't pay them. However, until they can show that you didn't pay, the government would not have to tell them who owns the card that was scanned. It could even be made so that you could check in twice with the same card and the hotel would get two different ids and so couldn't tell that you were the same person. Also, if the code the card gave was a once-off thing that was just generated from the card itself, the government also would not know that you checked into the hotel using your government id until the hotel comes asking for your identity because you didn't pay the bill. The same system could be used to prevent different government agencies from comparing notes on you, since they'd be working with different ids that can only be matched up if they can make a case to a judge or similar that this is necessary. That's much better privacy that you could potentially get with a card like that than you currently do with a credit card. Not that I have any illusion that this is what is happening in Russia.

Re:ID cards can be wonderful for privacy (1)

johnhp (1807490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886408)

Different cards or businesses would only keep their keys to themselves for so long.

Eventually, you'd see a little EULA on a screen where clicking yes means they can share their key with a group of others businesses, to "serve you better". Eventually, some terrorist attack will occur and the government will decide that it should have a master key to track all spending in order to search for suspicious purchases. Eventually, the IRS will access all of your income and spending and property records and will be happy to "do you taxes for you!" and send you a bill. Eventually, the government will have complete control over all commerce and it will be a crime to act outside of the system. The GPS in your phone will sync up with the purchases you make and the text messages you send/receive and the government will have you perfectly indexed in a master database. Deviants will be found mathematically.

Technology has always been used by governments to enforce control. It has improved over time, stabilizing society but also establishing more complete tyranny. I believe we have almost reached the time where revolution will no longer be possible. The game of states and empires will be locked in, and the peasants will never again discharge the elite.

Re:ID cards can be wonderful for privacy (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886872)

You didn't understand the suggestion - companies would be unable to figure out that you are the same person from your card even if you go shop there every day. So pooling their info would be pointless for them. The card gives a different id every time it is queried. Only the issuer can tell that all those ids are for the same card. The issuer would be the government, and the idea would be that getting access to the card database requires a warrant the same way searching your property requires a warrant. Information of your purchases does not require talking to the government server, so the government would have no way to tell what you are doing with your card. You seem to believe that holding the government to something like that is impossible, and I suppose you could be correct. Though in that case we are all fucked anyway, since there is nothing to stop even private companies from tracking you right now in many ways that wouldn't be possible with such an id card system.

In Soviet Russia (1, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885722)

You must wear the Mark of the Beast [wikipedia.org] in order to buy or sell.

Re:In Soviet Russia (1, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885890)

Bring it.

Ha! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885726)

In Soviet Russia, er, uh... hmm.

Of course, this is Slashdot ... (2)

LiquidPaper (69881) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885738)

... but if you read the title it clearly says it is an ID card, not a debit/credit payment card.

I live in Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885786)

They did the same thing with international passports a while back, microchip etc. Basically 99% of the population couldn't possibly care less since most Russians are preoccupied with what they consider to be more important things.

Re:I live in Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34885820)

IOW, they're too drunk to care.

Suspicious article (1)

doktorstop (725614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34885840)

Just y 2C, but the story looks highly suspicious. First of all, NOWHERE on the website does it say that it will replace the internal passport. Transport passes, social security as a mean of getting services, but in Russia social security number and internal passport are two very different things. Secondly, the website is, I would say, rahter suspicious. Generic Joomla, with even Joomla logos still there (footer, site icon, etc). Looks like something created in 20 mins, providing they had the text. Government structures, although slow, do not work this sloppily. So I would take the whole thing with a grain of salt :)

I live in Russia. This article is sensationalist. (5, Interesting)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886016)

First, this is NOT an ID card (at least at first), it's just a government-mandated standard card. Second, Russia _already_ has a universal ID system - internal passports, which have nice unique ID numbers and every citizen by law must get a passport. A lot of things (bank accounts, phone numbers) are already linked to passport serial numbers, so it's not like it's hard to correlate these data.

Interestingly enough, it's not used for oppression of political opposition. Mostly because it's not of much use to know where your political opponent is.

In my opinion, ID cards are better than paper passports - they are physically smaller and easier to carry and do not fray around the edges as easily as paper documents. A major boon of ID cards should be the ease of cancellation. A stolen paper passport is a disaster, a stolen ID card should just be a nuisance.

However, though internal passports are a legacy of the USSR, they have some advantages too - they can contain more "naked-eye visible" information than a credit-card-sized ID card, like marital status, information about children, blood type, etc.

Re:I live in Russia. This article is sensationalis (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886092)

You know, I thought it was a great idea to use up all of my mod points until I saw this. If I had a mod point, I would get you with a +1 insightful since you can shed some extra light on the id cards. Somebody else out there, please, mod parent up

Re:I live in Russia. This article is sensationalis (5, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886278)

A little more depth. There is a talk about deprecating internal passports and replacing them with ID cards, however as far as I understand this card will not yet be the national ID card.

I'm reading specifications for this card, and so far it seems that government is just mandating a single standard for micropayments and ID transmission info. Which certainly makes sense (I hate buying subway passes every time I visit Moscow).

Internal passports are interesting in themselves. They were first invented during the USSR era as means of migration control. In order to get a job each citizen of the USSR had to have a local registration ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propiska [wikipedia.org] ), it's a stamp on a passport page. And to get a propiska one had to have a local job - a nice Catch-22 scenario. And living without registration in the USSR was actually a crime that could get you behind the bars. With the fall of the USSR, both of the requirements for propiska were lifted, even though the requirement for the mandatory local registration remained in place (though now punishment for living without the local registration is trivial, about $15, AFAIR).

But local registration has been transformed from a barrier into a bureaucratic nuisance (or hell). It's now a classical Brazilia situation - state can't nominally refuse you to register, but it can make it thoroughly unpleasant.

The proposed ID card will _finally_ kill off the propiska for good. As a citizen of Russia, for me it's much much much better than nebulous additional threats to privacy.

Re:I live in Russia. This article is sensationalis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34886290)

US already has a national ID. It is called SSN. It's just a simple number and there is no authentication and anyone can forge it. Yet, it is used as some secret ID. You can open bank accounts and even get a mortgage just having your SSN number.

Re:I live in Russia. This article is sensationalis (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886446)

Do you get a separate passport for international travel? I assume the internal passport accepted for travel to some former USSR countries?

Side channel attack proof? (1)

Mattpw (1777544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886054)

Id be interested to know what if any crypto they are using in the cards. Id also like to see them run through these side channel "analysis" kits I saw a very good demonstration of recently http://www.riscure.com/inspector/product-description/inspector-sca.html [riscure.com] which includes modules for 3-DES, AES, RSA and ECC and are able to determine the secret keys or ID right off smartcards without damaging them. To my mind the writing is on the wall for smart card technology and in 5-10 years these "analysis" kits will be as small,fast,convenient and cheap as the magnetic stripe reader/writers are today.

[country/universal] ID(device) can be great .. (1)

Johan Welin (1387129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886116)

.. If they are optional and opt-in. Country/federated id's can be a great tool for simplifying access to various services that you feel that you should trust. In a democracy these are typically run by the ones that you voted on as trustees. Having a unified id does simplify access to many services, as proven by many years of service in European countries. Privacy concerns are definitely warranted when using such a system. Legislation for a no-logging of association with id and obtained service (prescription, opinion, financial-info. etc..) should take care of current, and near future aspects of faced fears of universal ids.. Or..

Really? (3, Funny)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886284)

I mean, the universe is pretty big.

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34886340)

At bars and highway checkpoints, cards get peopled!

How do you tell a Russian in Ukraine? (1)

alexmin (938677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34886636)

- By passport sticking from the front shirt poket.
That was a joke few years ago. Apparently that was a russian habit due to street searches by Moscow police. National ID card is not something new to them.

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