Hu Jintao Can Hear You

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Me Chinese, me play joke, me get you locked up for unacceptable political speech

From the WSJ and Gizmodo.com come reports that visitors can expect surveillance equipment in Beijing taxis:

[O]n your taxi's dash is a microphone that can be activated remotely, at any time and without the driver's knowledge, for a live listen into any one of Beijing's estimated 70,000 cabs. And then, if the folks on the other end don't like what they hear, they can take things even further.

The GPS-equipped devices also allow for remote disabling by "cutting off the oil or electric supply," effectively shutting down the engine and keeping it from being restarted. Yikes.

The microphones I understand, but the remote shut-off?