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Monday, July 9, 2018

Coming Surveillance State

For John, BLUFIn the long run this is a bad thing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Mr Paul Mozur, 8 July 2018.

Here is the start:

ZHENGZHOU, China — In the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, a police officer wearing facial recognition glasses spotted a heroin smuggler at a train station.

In Qingdao, a city famous for its German colonial heritage, cameras powered by artificial intelligence helped the police snatch two dozen criminal suspects in the midst of a big annual beer festival.

In Wuhu, a fugitive murder suspect was identified by a camera as he bought food from a street vendor.

With millions of cameras and billions of lines of code, China is building a high-tech authoritarian future.  Beijing is embracing technologies like facial recognition and artificial intelligence to identify and track 1.4 billion people.  It wants to assemble a vast and unprecedented national surveillance system, with crucial help from its thriving technology industry.

And here is the danger:
China is reversing the commonly held vision of technology as a great democratizer, bringing people more freedom and connecting them to the world. In China, it has brought control.

In some cities, cameras scan train stations for China’s most wanted. Billboard-size displays show the faces of jaywalkers and list the names of people who can’t pay their debts.  Facial recognition scanners guard the entrances to housing complexes.  Already, China has an estimated 200 million surveillance cameras — four times as many as the United States.

Such efforts supplement other systems that track internet use and communications, hotel stays, train and plane trips and even car travel in some places.

Having the Peds use the crosswalks, and properly, is not worth the sacrifice of our Fourth Amendment Rights.

Regards  —  Cliff

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