March 26, 2023

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“In United Russia they say: “Well, excuse me, we are forced, we were ordered.” MP from the Communist Party demands the abolition of Fan ID

“In United Russia they say: “Well, excuse me, we are forced, we were ordered.” MP from the Communist Party demands the abolition of Fan ID

“In United Russia they say: “Well, excuse me, we are forced, we were ordered.” MP from the Communist Party demands the abolition of Fan ID

“It’s even funnier to follow the somersaults of another United Russia party – Svetlana Zhurova, one of the main supporters and defenders of Fan ID. Yesterday, she already stated that it is not necessary to repeal the law in order to cancel Fan ID. Well, the usual picture. United Russia will not be United Russia if they suddenly start admitting their mistakes and stop pretending that everything is going according to plan.”

No, this is not a comment on, but a post in the telegram of State Duma deputy from the Communist Party Sergei Obukhov.

Against the background of the speeches of Zhurova and Milonov (it seems that they began to admit that they had gone too far), Obukhov recalled that he had always opposed Fan ID and, back in the summer of 2022, introduced a bill to cancel it. Now the communist is also acting – he sent a request to repeal the law specifically for football to the government.

We asked Obukhov why he needed it.


– You are one of those deputies who are most active in favor of the abolition of Fan ID. Are you a fan? 

– I do not speak out, but immediately proposed a bill to abolish Fan ID. My colleagues and I submitted it for consideration as soon as we could not fight off the adoption of the law. Since last summer, he has been in the State Duma.

If you google, I also spoke out against QR codes. I even went out with a poster to the State Duma, and they staged a massacre against me. Or, for example, one of the scandals related to video surveillance in Moscow is my detention, despite my parliamentary immunity. I was detained at the Partizanskaya station and taken to the monkey house, because in the facial recognition system I was designated as a troublemaker who needed to be detained. In the end, this was recognized as a mistake, but I hardly believe it. I took a picture of the policeman’s tablet, where there are two of my photos in the search database – a photo from the deputy’s website and a photo of passing through the turnstile.

With Fan ID, all these things are of the same order. I proceed from the fact that Fan ID is absolutely not needed for football safety. Here I was pleased by the former prime minister and head of the FSB, Mr. Stepashin. He said that in order to ensure safety at football, it is enough to sell tickets on passports.

In my opinion, Fan ID is not about the safety of fans. I see a more global problem here.

– What? 

– Restriction of our rights under the guise of the convenience of digitalization. They are trying to impose some kind of social racket, restriction with the help of digital technologies. Instead of help, they turn into an instrument of pressure and control. I am fighting this trend. Not in general with digitalization – you can not oppose progress or against the computer. And against uncontrolled digitalization.

As for the fan… Yes, I am a fan, but not a fan. I will not say which club I support, because it will affect my constituency.

– But do you go to the stadium? 

– No, I’m a couch fan.

– Supporters of Fan ID and facial recognition video surveillance say that this is necessary for security. Why are you against security? 

– Once again I repeat Stepashin’s opinion: it is enough to purchase a ticket with a passport.

Camera recognition is probably needed to catch criminals. But as long as there is no public control over this (and there is none), all these systems, including electronic voting, should be suspended. Any digitalization must guarantee protection against infringement of the rights of citizens.

We’ve heard a lot about constant database leaks. This is a terrible thing. And when we discussed this in the context of Fan ID, the developers did not say anything intelligible.

– Are you afraid that the data from the databases will fall into the hands of criminals? 

– Yes. And even to our geopolitical opponents. In Parliament, we were given a thousand times a guarantee [that this would not happen]. But the guarantees were worthless.

– Do you see the advantages of Fan ID? 

– There is a plus for international competitions. Fan ID allowed them to replace a visa and a ticket. For the domestic championship, this is an excessive restriction.

But I understand why it is introduced. Because the system needs to be tested. We thought that the fans were a narrow segment that would make some noise and put up with it. This is still counting.

We are already talking about electronic passports. Look at how many discounts are given in the subway so that you pass through the turnstiles with a face recognition system – both cashback and fare are cheaper. All so that people register and give the right to use the image.

– So Fan ID is a test of something more global? 

– Yes, a system that will then be introduced in society.

As a politician, I have a broader view. The initiator of the law is the government. And our Prime Minister [Mikhail Mishustin] is a big digitizer. On the example of the tax system (Mishustin – the former head of the tax service –, all these digital bells and whistles were not bad. But it is impossible to consider the whole society and fans as a tax office, approach only from a fiscal point of view. Still, society is a more complex mechanism.

I think this [Fan ID] is one of the manifestations of the digital incarnation of our prime minister.

– Have you heard about the version with the FSB? Allegedly, companies associated with the security forces and having accreditation from them will earn money on the supply of equipment for stadiums. 

– I heard, but I did not see official documents. And I don’t think that’s the main argument. The amount spent, of course, is large – about a billion rubles, but from the point of view of business … Our businessmen, close to government agencies, eat much larger volumes.