Ukrainian government is using cellphones to track protesters

Kiev, Ukraine is the site of violent protest this week, as up to 100,000 people defied new laws which make it illegal to cover one’s face, wear a helmet, set up tents, or use a sound system in what was formerly a peaceful assembly. Protestors are using baseball bats, Molotov cocktails, and even a catapult, while riot police have fired rubber bullets and thrown stun grenades. Technology is also being used as a weapon of sorts. 

“Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.” That’s the chilling text message people near the clash between Ukrainian riot police and protestersin Kiev yesterday received shortly after midnight, Andrew E. Kramer at the New York Times reports. The protests were in response to new restrictions on speech and assembly rights signed into law by President Viktor Yanu­kovych. Those laws followed public protests brought on by Yanukovych’s decision not to sign a free trade agreement with the European Union. The language in the text message mirrors a law that makes it a 3crime punishable by jail time to participate in a protest that is deemed violent, according to Kramer.

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