The authorities in Moscow are considering a controversial scheme to use a satellite tracking system to follow the movements of staff and vehicles of the city's government.
The plan has drawn criticism as it could be used to check whether workers are taking unauthorised breaks and fine them if they are not working hard enough.
It could take the whole pleasure out of stopping for a beer
For any employer, it is an age-old problem: how to keep an eye on your workers to ensure they do not slack on the job.
In Russia, struggling to become a true market economy, it can be a serious headache.
So Moscow's authorities are planning to try a brand-new solution, using satellites to do the spying for them.
The city government is considering spending $35 million on a satellite tracking system.
A pilot scheme is due to be launched this year.
The uncontroversial part involves fitting sensors to emergency vehicles to follow their movements, to improve safety and efficiency.
Plumbers and cleaners
The far more contentious proposal is to put sensors on municipal street-cleaners, plumbers and electricians.
In theory, their bosses will know if they are late to work, if they take too many breaks or if they do other jobs on the side.
They could then be fined.
The plan has already been criticised as a threat to human rights.
It is only just over a decade since Communist rule and the totalitarian habits of a police state ended in Russia.
But it seems there is still some sympathy for the old ways if it means an end to waiting for leaky pipes and broken fuses to be fixed.