Nov 22, 2021
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Bacchanalia with QR codes: Repression hits people, not the virus

Bacchanalia with QR codes: Repression hits people, not the virus

Photo: Egor Aleev / TASS

QR-codes, and with them the accompanying problems, are increasingly entering the life of earthlings. They also do not bypass the Russians, who, unlike the Europeans, do not yet go to demonstrations of many thousands, but, judging by some polls, they do not approve of the introduced innovations.

Meanwhile, the consequences of the introduction of QR codes are becoming more tangible. First of all, we are talking about elementary technical and legal readiness for such control. For example, a resident of Surgut was unable to enter the shopping center due to a possible failure in the code verification system. “The permissible number of checks of this QR code in the last 10 minutes has been exceeded,” read the message on the controller’s device.

On this basis, the woman and her mother were not allowed into the store. It is noteworthy that the woman from Surgut herself claims that she used the code only the second time in a day. By the way, if there is a lot of talk about the codes themselves, then I have never heard of the limit on their use. What the “system” has come up with, apparently, still has to be understood, but one shouldn’t be surprised either. Just last week, many Russians faced a large-scale disruption, due to which the validity period of vaccination QR codes for vaccinated citizens was halved – from a year to six months.

“Within the framework of a single form, a technical error occurred, and yesterday I personally apologized to 300 thousand users who were affected by this, and promised to take this situation under additional control,” the head of the Ministry of Digital Affairs justified Maksut Shadayev

The situation with QR codes clearly irritates many citizens, therefore, with the bills submitted to the State Duma on the use of this measure in public places and in transport, the deputies prudently decided not to rush, sending them for discussion to various structures, as well as to the regions. However, some local authorities chose not to wait for what the federal authorities would prescribe to them.

In Tatarstan, for example, restrictive measures have been tightened and QR codes have been introduced for public transport since Monday, which has already led to conflict situations. Nevertheless, by noon, about 800 passengers were nevertheless disembarked from trams and trolleybuses by the controllers.

Recall that citizens are required to present not only the QR code itself, but also a passport. And here the question arises as to the legality of such actions. As explained to the Free Press lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky, neither the guards in the shopping malls, nor the conductors at all have the right to verify the identity.

– In my opinion, they exceed their powers, but they are forced to do it. In general, today everything related to QR codes is not legally regulated either in any way, or not enough. Therefore, everyone fills in the emerging legal voids as he wants. If you call it in simple terms, it is arbitrariness. The legal framework may and will be created someday if the state still distributes QR codes and goes into further conflict with society. In the meantime, some are in the forest, some for firewood.

“SP”: – What should citizens do in this situation?

– Apply to courts, write complaints. Of course, they will tell me, “What are your complaints,” but there is no other way today. If this is a sufficiently widespread phenomenon, then the practice will be corrected. Now the practice is just being established, and many people will fall under this rink: their rights will be violated. This is an objective reality.

“SP”: – But we do not have QR codes registered either.

– Quite right. I do not know in what normative act they are spelled out, at least for people. In my opinion, here the state is clearly going too far, and it must bump into natural limits. Sooner or later it will come across. Let us recall how in 2004 the law on the monetization of benefits was introduced. Benefits were taken away from pensioners. Then, under pressure from the public, this law was largely corrected, resulting in a compromise version. I think it will be the same here.

“SP”: – Is it possible to enter QR codes at all, having neither a legal, nor a technical basis that works without failures and safely?

– I think that an attempt to enter QR codes in Moscow, in the metro, which I myself use regularly, will not only lead to problems, but will lead to a complete collapse of the city economy. In Tatarstan, the population density is less, and they can afford such experiments, but the focus of the epidemic is still Moscow. I have no idea what will begin. It’s not about the riots. By itself, the passage to the subway and so on: first of all, everyone re-infects each other, because there will be a wild panic, right up to panic.

We need to see what the authorities will do next. In my opinion, a repressive policy in the fight against the epidemic, of course, has the right to life to some extent, but far from the first. To make it actually the only one is completely wrong. This does not hit the virus, but the people.

Member of the Public Council for the Protection of Patients’ Rights at Roszdravnadzor, Doctor of Medicine Alexei Starchenko believes that technical equipment is at the forefront.

– QR codes should be checked only by those authorized bodies that can draw up a protocol on administrative violations. Only they have the right to demand a passport, because they draw up an official document in which passport data must be included. This is a document on the basis of which there can be some kind of punishment.

From my point of view, these are excesses on the ground, in terms of minutes to use a QR code – this is insanity. Our regional authorities want to show that they are doing at least something, to report to the federal authorities on some measures. It is doubtful how much the value of these measures has been verified from a legal, epidemiological point of view for limiting the spread of covid infection.

First of all, Rospotrebnadzor and the Ministry of Digital Safety and Health should issue a manual where they clearly explain what a QR code is, where to get it, how to get and use it. Not all elderly people even read SMS, they will never receive any QR code and are not going to do it at all. It turns out that the elderly population, which always votes for the current government, is punished so harshly for some reason.

And why should it necessarily be a site of State Services? Why, for example, is it impossible to get this code at the clinic when I was vaccinated and received a certificate? Why do you need to go somewhere else for some kind of code? There is a certificate of vaccination, it is approved by the Ministry of Health. Let them accept the certificate. What other QR codes? What if a person doesn’t have a smartphone? Let’s write to the president together so that smartphones can hang the Christmas tree for us. Let this smartphone already have a QR code embedded. For the rest of my life.

“SP”: – But business, from which the authorities demand, is also becoming a hostage of the situation. The security guard in the mall is demanding without having the right to do so. A citizen has the right to refuse, a conflict arises. What should a business do?

– Go to court. The only measure that can restrict the authorities is the court. Arbitration, general jurisdiction. If a business believes that its rights have been violated by some document (I just did not see a document that would regulate the frequency of visits to a shopping center), it must be appealed. Of course, such measures harm the interests of business and limit the rights of citizens. If a person is allowed to leave the house and he has a QR code, then it is epidemiological stupidity that he is limited to visiting something for 10 minutes.

“SP”: – Apparently, this is still another technical failure. Nevertheless, a bill on QR codes has already been submitted to the State Duma.

– We see a downward trend in morbidity in Moscow, which is still a metropolis. If we talk about the introduction of QR codes from February, then by the end of March the spring exacerbation of viral infections will end, turn to summer. Are these codes necessary at all?

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