Imagine a country, which created it’s own global navigation system. Soon after that the government obliged certain class of drivers to buy and keep in a car a tachograph. this device needs to be acquired from the government, and the driver must pay her monthly salary for obtaining it. later, all those drivers get the new requirement: before making a trip, they have to visit a special website, and register the source and destination points of the trip. then the site will generate a route for the driver. the website does not work well. sometimes it’s impossible to register, and sometimes it does not generate optimal, or even feasible route. the driver has to buy another device, which tracks him, and if he makes even a small change in the route, then the huge penalty follows. also, this class of drivers needs to pay for the roads.

surveillance system is provided by a private company which got a permit and huge financial aid from the government to create a web site, and the device, as well as to build checkpoints on the roads to get the fees. this company belongs to the son of the president’s close friend. as well as many other private projects that get government money.

in spite of protests, decision is enforced, and president publicly says that his friend’s son is talented young entrepreneur. why not to give him those drivers?

do you think such an utopian country exists? yes, it’s called russian federation. apparently.

#russia #surveillance #tachograph #glonass #corruption #pressure #navigation #obligation #utopia

բնօրինակ սփիւռքում(եւ մեկնաբանութիւննե՞ր)

here was a ted talk, i believe, and one guy from Sweden was saying - if somebody is watching me, i would prefer it to be local NSA, rather than US NSA.

Well, I envy him. He trusts local NSA so much. He believes that it’s not engaged in crime, corruption, unlawful activities. At least, it’s likely engaged less than the NSA of my country. Thus he feels himself more confident than me.

I am afraid of my local NSA more than of wolves, vampires, ghosts. It’s not they who might nock my door at 5am, when I am completely innocent. And definitely not US NSA. It’s my native, lovely, NSA. Which supposedly defends interests of the nation, but I am not quite sure it does not actually defend interests of other parties like their own, government, criminals instead. Sigh.

#safety #naive #sweden #nsa #privacy #surveillance #corruption #crime #confidence #security #freedom

բնօրինակ սփիւռքում(եւ մեկնաբանութիւննե՞ր)

Not verbatim:

We caught these policemen who took bribes, and the judge freed them. There is this “collective responsibility” among them. These policemen can now drink somewhere abroad with this judge making fun of us, who tries to fight corruption.

#saakashvili #ukraine #odessa #corruption #russian

բնօրինակ սփիւռքում(եւ մեկնաբանութիւննե՞ր)

M. S.: It seems that prosecutor’s office continues to practice superintendence functions. In Vilkovo one enterpreneur started to build a ferry way, and he got a mail from prosecutor’s office: provide documents so that we can open a case against you. Do you aware about it?

Prosecutor: No, no such thing. But it fits, in principle, in the prosecutor’s responsibilities.

M. S.: I’m sorry, scaring investors as soon as they come is the functional responsibilities of the prosecutor’s office? This, my dear, is called racketeering! Is banditry a functional duty of the prosecutor’s office? …

M. S.: I saw those prosecutors like you. By the way, I saw them in prison later …

#saakashvili #odessa #ukraine #corruption #russian

բնօրինակ սփիւռքում(եւ մեկնաբանութիւննե՞ր)

“If you cannot find, for somebody who has been in power for nine years in a post-Soviet country, anything connected with corruption or enrichment or finding like you know businesses or offshore accounts,” he said, adding, “That makes me very proud.”

#georgia #saakashvili #democracy #corruption #freedom

բնօրինակ սփիւռքում(եւ մեկնաբանութիւննե՞ր)

did you notice how it happened? how Vladimir Putin, the man, who robbed it’s own country, centralized power, repressed journalists, raised corruption, subjugated all the media, and courts, repressed minorities, put to jail innocent girls, responsible for dead journalists, like Politkovskaia, killed innocent people, including Russians, in Chechnya, Beslan, etc, supported killers of Magnitski(if it’s not him), made new anti-gay laws, laws oppressing freedom of speech, and bureaus, that have power to shut down any web site just because they want to, etc, etc, etc… did you notice how this man became your hero?

Just because you don’t like some steps of USA, it doesn’t mean that you need to like same steps made by Russia!

If Peter have stolen something, it does not mean, that Vasia can steal! It does not mean you have to support Vasia’s robberies just because you don’t like that Peter were doing that. You cannot justify Vasia for that!

#russia #usa #putin #crime #offence #felony #repressions #freedom-of-speech #magnitski #media #chechnya #beslan #corruption #repression #hero #logic #objective #freedom

բնօրինակ սփիւռքում(եւ մեկնաբանութիւննե՞ր)

True: we made mistakes. We tried too hard to pander to Russia in the Yeltsin era, ignoring the growth of corruption, authoritarianism and revanchism. We overlooked Russians’ resentment as their country drifted from the European mainstream and our vulnerability to the steps they could take in response. We neglected Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and the countries of the Caucasus. The Blair government was bewitched by the Putin regime’s offer of cooperation against Islamist terrorism in 2001. We have been frequently dazzled by the spurious commercial prospects offered by Russia – in particular BP’s decision to form an alliance with Rosneft, the main Russian oil company, was a shameful example of greed and short-sightedness.

very good paper by Edward Lucas

#edward-lucas #russia #putin #oil #gas #caucasus #blair #ukraine #moldova #belarus #rosneft #russian #bp #vulnerability #authoritarianism #corruption #revanchism #europe #politics #world #war #peace #regime #challenge #soviet #ussr #empire #imperialism #freedom

բնօրինակ սփիւռքում(եւ մեկնաբանութիւննե՞ր)