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Biometric identification: It’s what Russia craves?

Nobody asked for this but we're getting it anyway

Riley Waggaman

The nations of the world are racing each other to see who can tag their respective cattle in the safest and most voluntary and convenient way. Meanwhile, the cattle bicker on the internet about which rancher has the best and most moral cattle tag.

“So it goes.”

I suppose it’s a matter of taste, really. After all, deciding who gets to tag you is still a choice, technically. Sort of.

In Russia, great advances have been made towards implementing a biometric cattle tag, which is arguably the most convenient cattle tag ever devised because the cattle don’t have to haul around a piece of paper anymore—their face is their tag. If that’s not convenient I don’t know what is.

It’s a proven fact that biometric cattle tags are safe, convenient, 100% voluntary, and implemented gradually so as not to cause suspicion or distress among the cattle.

Allow me to demonstrate.

It’s for your convenience

By now I hope you have realized that your civil liberties privileges are being stripped from you because your government cares deeply about your safety and loses sleep over the possibility of you being inconvenienced.

Moscow is similarly altruistic and selfless:

source: tourism.interfax.ru

The Russian government announced at the end of March that citizens would be permitted to register at hotels, spas, campsites, tourist centers, and medical clinics using biometric data stored in the “voluntary” Unified Biometric System.

State agencies & friendly bank cheer for “transition to biometrics” in Russia

Russia’s Unified Biometric System (UBS), a commercially operated national biometrics database (no, I’m not joking—more on that later), has been billed as a safe and effective way to identify the proles.

[Read more]

As usual, the relevant authorities hailed the “convenience” of biometric IDs. The Ministry of Economic Development told TASS that biometric check-in at hotels and other institutions will “allow guests to independently register at any convenient time without queues and waiting”.

Of course, Russians will always be allowed to register at hotels and treatment centers without getting retina-scanned, but why would they want to be inconvenienced?

But just remember: biometric identification is the key to convenience, and only Russian citizens whose data has been entered into the completely voluntary Unified Biometric System will have access to this extremely convenient method of registration, Rospotrebnadzor noted in a press release.

Ungrateful Russians give friendly centralized biometrics database 1-star Yelp reviews

It has come to our attention that some Russians are not adequately thankful for the newly ratified biometrics law that keeps them extremely safe and secure.

[Read more]

While we’re on the topic, by the end of the year Russians in several regions will be able to interact with their local bureaucracies without presenting a domestic passport; they’ll just need to smile for the camera

source: nakanune.ru

But just to be 100% clear: Russians will never been forced to switch to biometric identification; this is about convenience and optimization and giving cherished citizens choices.

It’s also for your safety

Biometric ID is not just a very convenient and easy way to confirm your identity to your rancher, it’s also a great way for your rancher to keep an eye on you as you walk around minding your own business:

source: interfax.ru

In Moscow, the local rancher is always thinking about your safety and convenience:

“In Moscow, in recent years, billions of photo and video images, both cars and people, have been processed, and the quality of recognition, for example, of faces and cars has reached 99.8%, that is, almost 100% recognition,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said at the plenary session of the Forum of Innovation financial technologies Finopolis [on November 8, 2023].

This is all part of Sobyanin’s dream of creating a biometric utopia in which health insurance companies can set monthly premiums based on data taken from implanted medical devices:

Moscow 2030: Creating a biometric paradise

Anyway, let’s not give too much credit to Moscow. Other parts of Russia have recognized that facial recognition isn’t a “luxury”—it’s a “necessity” in order to protect against dangerous “new risks”:

source: mkset.ru

Again, this is for your safety. As mkset.ru explained:

“It is also worth noting that the facial recognition system in no way leads to the abuse of civil freedom.”

Are you taking notes? Good, because Perm Krai is accelerating safety for your safety:

source: ura.news

It’s vital:

I ask you to intensify your work regarding the implementation of the Safe Region program. All funds are provided in the budget; it is necessary to ensure the purchase and installation of CCTV cameras with facial recognition as quickly as possible. This measure is vital,” Makhonin addressed the Minister of Territorial Security Viktor Batmazov.

…and it’s also completely voluntary

Look: If you don’t want to be face-ID’d, you don’t have to be. It’s completely voluntary. So far, the Unified Biometric System—which is operated by a joint-stock company— boasts approximately 50 million morsels of voluntarily submitted biometric data:

February 15, 2024. source: interfax.ru

…Except that it’s possible that some of this voluntarily submitted data may have been submitted without consent:

March 24, 2024. source: ura.news

Aren’t cattle tags great?

Whether they are American cattle tags, or EU cattle tags, or Eskimo cattle tags, or Ukrainian cattle tags, or Brazilian cattle tags, or Russian cattle tags, all responsible cattle agree that cattle tags are becoming more convenient, more safe, and more necessary during these turbulent and uncertain times.

And these are certainly precarious times for the cattle.

The original cattle tag was marketed as a temporary ID designed to keep an eye on WWI-era spies, draft dodgers, and refugees. Then this temporary “wartime” document magically became the international passport system that we know and love today.

Please familiarize yourself with the history of modern cattle-tagging, because it’s important to understand that we’re entering the cattle-tag End Game; the Opening and Middle Game happened 100 years ago:

One hundred years of cattle-tagging

It’s not great, to be honest. But life goes on.

Riley Waggaman is an American writer and journalist who has lived in Russia for close to a decade. He has contributed to many websites, including Anti-Empire, Russian Faith, Brownstone Institute, Unlimited Hangout, and Geopolitics & Empire. He worked for Press TV, Russia Insider, and RT before going solo. You can subscribe to his Substack here, or follow him on twitter or Telegram.

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