Russia’s government has put forward a law to force ride-hailing apps to give the FSB domestic intelligence agency real-time access to their data.
“The document stipulates the obligation of the taxi ordering service to the FSB to receive, store, process and receive taxi orders with automatic remote access to information systems and databases,” said a statement published on Wednesday by the lower house State Duma. used to transmit.”
Member of Parliament’s Security Committee, MP Adalby Shakagoshev, told news agency RIA Novosti that “this is a very difficult measure to implement, but that does not mean it is not necessary”.
Until now, the FSB could have obtained this information if it had filed a formal request with taxi services, which according to Irina Zaripova, chair of the National Taxi Development Council, had the right to respond within 30 days.
“Many fear that the FSB can obtain information about passengers at any time in real time,” she told Russian radio station Kommersant FM in late March, when the idea was first put forth by the Russian Ministry of Transport.
“But when it comes to national security, there are often situations where something has happened and FSB agents need this data practically within an hour to solve a crime or prevent it,” she explained. .
She stressed that “no one will be monitoring this data from morning till night”.
Russian authorities have increased restrictions on public liberties since the start of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Among other moves, the country has blocked access to popular social networks Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and has taken legal action against tech giant Meta, accusing it of spreading “kill to kill” against Russians.
The country has also strengthened its legislative arsenal, which allows heavy fines or prison sentences for anyone found guilty of “discrediting” the military or publishing “false information” about its operations. .