Big Brother takes taxi to Beijing Olympics

Just add it to the list. Hotel rooms, offices, residencies and now taxi cabs. Visitors to China will be closely watched, monitored and recorded. As the U.S. State Department has said:

All visitors should be aware that they have no reasonable expectation of privacy in public or private locations.

Microphones have been installed in most of Beijing’s 70,000 cabs. Integrated with GPS, the system can not only track conversations, but location. And if those in power don’t like what they hear, they can even remotely shut down the car.

Naturally, most conversations are not going to be actively monitored (keyword scanning software aside) due the to sheer amount of resources that would require. Instead, the government recruited some cabbies as “intelligence agents”. The listening systems can be triggered by the taxi driver, thereby alerting the dispatch center. For any real tips the drivers get paid an amount equal to up to $73,000.

Yeah… nothing wrong with that plan. Good thing stuff like that never happens in this country.

via WSJ