What is this handbasket we’re in, and where is it going?

Is it already 1984?

According to The Wall Street Journal, Beijing’s immense fleet of taxi cabs have all been outfitted with eavesdropping microphones and GPS monitors. Ostensibly, this equipment has been put in place in order to ensure the safety of and protect drivers. The device also have a remote shut-off ability, stopping the cabs in their tracks.

Yaxon Networks, based in Xiamen in Fujian province, says on its Web site that its devices allow the police or a service center to “judge if the driver is in danger” through remote surveillance or wiretapping. If it is necessary, the service center can immobilize a taxi remotely by “cutting off the oil or electric supply,” the company adds.

This, of course, leads one to wonder if these devices also have the ability to remotely manipulate the locks, trapping the would-be violent offender in the car. Or perhaps remotely-triggered, debilitating nerve gas canisters. Or acid showers in the ceiling. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and experience with 1960’s spy movie technology.


August 6, 2008 - Posted by | Chinese Olympics

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