If you’re wondering what authoritarian technology futures look like, here’s an example from North Cyprus. This is a message from The Information Technologies and Communication Authority telling me I can use my device (IMEI number sent in the clear in the text) for 90 days without registering it (something I first encountered in Turkey years ago). Also note, they took a copy of my passport while buying the prepaid SIM card (something they also do in Belgium).

The dystopian future is now.

Translation of mentioned SMS message (attached image):
Your device with 3...9 IMEI number is not registered and you can use this device for 90 days only with 5...7 phone number. 90 days limitation for your devices will be renewed every calendar year. For more information on registering your device, please call BTHK (Information and Communication Technologies Authority) at 0392 444 2845.

Registering a device costs around 2000 TL (~240$ as of 2021) regardless of how cheap your phone is. Even if you are a student with limited budget, you got to either pay 240$ to register your phone, or buy a crappy phone that costs just as much. Tax on smartphones is close to 90% in Turkey.
600$ iPhone 12 in USA becomes 1120$ in Turkey.
A very appropriate price for Turkey's economy that is in freefall.


@murtezayesil Bloody hell, I didn’t even know there was a cost attached!

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