Russia’s ‘Big Brother’ facial recognition system goes on trial

Activists in Russia, who are concerned at government plans for one of the world’s largest facial recognition systems, are taking legal action.
They fear the surveillance system is being used to target critics of President Vladimir Putin.
Police say law-abiding Russians have nothing to fear.
Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen has been given exclusive access to police headquarters in Moscow.

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In This Story: Moscow

Moscow, on the Moskva River in western Russia, is the nation’s cosmopolitan capital. In its historic core is the Kremlin, a complex that’s home to the president and tsarist treasures in the Armoury. Outside its walls is Red Square, Russia’s symbolic center. It’s home to Lenin’s Mausoleum, the State Historical Museum’s comprehensive collection and St. Basil’s Cathedral, known for its colorful, onion-shaped domes.

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    Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician and a former officer of the KGB who has served as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 1999 until 2008. He was also the Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012.

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    Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It extends from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the south.

    Russia spans more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, stretching eleven time zones, and bordering 16 sovereign nations. Moscow is the country’s capital.

    The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 and since 1993 Russia been governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia is a major great power, with the world’s second-most powerful military, and the fourth-highest military expenditure. As a recognised nuclear-weapon state, the country possesses the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.

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    Vladimir Putin is a Russian politician and a former intelligence officer who has served as President of Russia since 2012, previously being in the office from 1999 until 2008. He was also Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012.

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