November 1, 2013
(Mod: Earlier this week we wrote a little bit about former Soviet planner and now SCAG head functionary Hasan Ikhrata's plan to put black boxes in privately owned automobiles so that we can be tracked, taxed and watched. Fortunately we are not the only ones troubled by this.)
Former Soviet official behind black box "track & tax" of US drivers (The Washington Times link): The California bureaucrat behind a big brother plan to track vehicles and “tax by the mile” worked as a government transportation planner in the former USSR.
Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), who told the Los Angeles Times “This really is a must for our nation. It is not a matter of something we might choose to do,” worked for the Moscow Metro Corporation, according to his official SCAG biography.
SCAG foresees mandatory tracking of all California motorists by 2025. A black box tax-by-the-mile pilot program is underway in Oregon and several other states. Some of the methods Oregon is experimenting with involve using GPS to track miles driven by program participants.
Ikhrata’s former employer Moscow Metro announced plans in July to track the movements of individual passengers on subways by tracking the SIM cards in their mobile phones, even if the phones are powered off, according to RT. Police operations chief of the Moscow metro, Andrey Mokhov argues that the tactic is legal because “By law, we are not allowed to trace a person without appropriate sanctions…but we can keep track of the property of companies, which is exactly what SIM cards are.”
Although Ikhrata no longer spends his days working as a Moscow planner, he appears to have imported into California’s sprawling bureaucracy an instinct which runs unchecked inside the iron machinery of the world’s most authoritarian governments: track, surveil, and ultimately control everything citizens do.