They are selling secrets along the shining corridors of the Savyolovsky Market: Unlisted numbers. Tax returns. Customs declarations. Wanted lists. Police reports. Car registrations. Business permits.
Wrenched from the bowels of government by the forces of runaway capitalism and corruption, the hush-hush databases have made their way to this market in central Moscow where the windows of tiny shops glitter with cellphones, pirated DVDs and porn.
Compressed on discs, frozen in Cyrillic letters, is a trove of petty squabbles and personal tragedies that make up the fabric of this vast and often lawless land.
In a country where you have no right to know, but really you can know anything, anybody can anonymously buy discs burned with private information such as rape victimization, financial holdings and the suspicion of CIA involvement. Asking price (it’s negotiable): $40 to $60.