Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Beijing Taxis Are Rigged for Eavesdropping

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August 6, 2008; Page A7

BEIJING -- Tens of thousands of taxi drivers in Beijing have a tool that could become part of China's all-out security campaign for the Olympic Games. Their vehicles have microphones -- installed ostensibly for driver safety -- that can be used to listen to passengers remotely.

The tiny listening devices, which are connected to a global positioning system able to track a cab's location by satellite, have been installed in almost all of the city's 70,000 taxis over the past three years, taxi drivers and industry officials say... the machines can even remotely shut off engines...

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