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FSB saw a spy gadget in smart glasses from Facebook

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In Russia, the first smart glasses Stories from Facebook and Ray-Ban can be considered a special technical means for secretly obtaining information. This is stated in the response of the FSB to the request of the TJ edition.

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This is how the secret service commented on the issue of the legal use of the device in the country. At the same time, the department refused to clarify exactly what technical characteristics the device can be attributed to spy gadgets, and referred to Note 1 to Article 138.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation as amended by Federal Law No. 308-FZ dated August 2, 2019.

Article 138.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, among other things, regulates the parameters by which this or that device cannot be recognized as “spyware”. In particular, these are gadgets that are commercially available, have visible controls or are equipped with a shooting warning indicator. Also, devices with markings indicating their functional purpose fall out of the ban.

The most severe punishment for violating this article is imprisonment for up to four years. However, the law also allows you to “get by” with a fine of up to 200 thousand rubles.

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At the same time, the glasses from Facebook are equipped with an LED that signals the ongoing video shooting. They are not officially sold in Russia, but they can be ordered from a number of countries.

In 2017, a farmer from the Kurgan region, Yevgeny Vasiliev, was under investigation for purchasing a satellite tracking device for his calf. Then the journalists told the story of Vasiliev to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a press conference. The head of state responded by saying that it was necessary to sort out this situation. The Prosecutor General’s Office has been engaged in checking all criminal cases opened under Article 138.1 of the Criminal Code, which provides for liability for the illegal acquisition of special equipment for secret surveillance. Later, the case of a farmer who bought a de jure “spy” gadget was dropped for lack of corpus delicti.

In 2020, a Moscow court acquitted a detained by the FSB for selling a Russian video baby monitor. A resident of Zelenograd Denis Cabrera purchased a video tracking device for his son. Later, when the child grew up, he placed an advertisement for the sale of the gadget. Under the guise of buyers, FSB officers came to the meeting, who detained the man for allegedly selling spy equipment. While examining the equipment, the man demonstrated to the court that the device had a noticeable indicator that filming was in progress. It was this that saved the accused from a prison term: the judge did not see any criminal intent in Cabrera’s actions and released him.

In addition to the Facebook / Ray-Ban glasses unveiled to the public on September 9th, there is a Google Glass gadget on the market. However, this device still looks more like a camera with a screen than traditional glasses. In addition, the price of 3rd generation Google Glass hovers around $ 1,500, while Stories costs $ 299 in the US market.

Also, a similar device was announced by the Chinese corporation Xiaomi. The device has a classic form factor, glasses are able to display information on built-in screens. Also, using the gadget, you can receive calls, read messages, take photos and videos. In addition, the device has an automatic translator function. The lenses of the glasses have two MicroLED displays. According to company representatives, each pixel is about four micrometers in size, which made it possible to place screens in lenses. The announced accessory is based on technology that allows you to refract light and safely direct it into the human eye. Smart Glasses are equipped with a 5MP camera, microphones and speakers. However, the manufacturer did not disclose plans to launch the glasses on sale and disclose the estimated cost of the accessory.

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