"Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance."

#Politics

Wed, Jan 22nd, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The above text message was sent by the Ukranian government and received by anyone with a mobile phone in the vicinity of the clashes between police and protesters. The text message references a recently passed law that makes "participation in a protest deemed violent a crime punishable by imprisonment."

Vice calls this the most Orwellian text message a government's ever sent in a protest that barely anyone is paying attention to:

See, Kiev is tearing itself to shreds right now, but since we're kind of burned out on protests, riots, and revolutions at the moment, it's being treated below-the-fold news. Somehow, the fact that over a million people are marching, camping out, and battling with Ukraine's increasingly authoritarian government is barely making a ripple behind such blockbuster news bits as bridge closures and polar vortexes. Yes, even though protesters are literally building catapaults and wearing medieval armor and manning flaming dump trucks.

Hopefully news of the nascent techno-security state will turn some heads—it's right out of 1984, or, more recently, Elysium: technology deployed to "detect" dissent. Again, this tech appears to be highly arbitrary; anyone near the protest is liable to be labeled a "participant," as if targeting protesters directly and so broadly wasn't bad enough in the first place.

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