It seems QR codes will soon be back in vogue in Russia.
The Ministry of Digital Development, together with the FSB, will submit to the Russian government by May 1 a draft decree allowing the use of a digital identity card on smartphones instead of [an internal] passport in a number of everyday situations.
The proposal was supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
“Please, the sooner the better (…) Of course, such services are in high demand, and you just need to speed up their implementation. Please prepare these projects,” Putin said at a meeting with members of the government, responding to the proposal of the head of the Ministry of Digital Development, Maksut Shadayev.
The new form of ID will serve as a QR-coded digital copy of a pre-existing domestic passport. (Russia issues internal passports to citizens, which are used for accessing state services, opening bank accounts, etc.)
Shadayev promised there were no plans to “cancel the [paper] passport.”
If everything goes according to plan, the introduction of digital IDs in Russia will coincide with the launch of the safe and convenient digital ruble, which is expected to enter circulation in the coming months.
We must reemphasize that digital identity cards are outrageously safe and convenient; they will never replace paper IDs, ever, and they will never be used to usher in a soul-crushing digital Panpoopticon.
Riley Waggaman is your humble Moscow correspondent. He worked for RT, Press TV, Russia Insider, yadda yadda. In his youth, he attended a White House lawn party where he asked Barack Obama if imprisoned whistleblower Bradley Manning (Chelsea was still a boy back then) “had a good Easter.” Good times good times. You can subscribe to his Substack here, or follow him on twitter or Telegram.
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