With the help of Western companies such as Cisco Systems Inc., China plans to put a network of 500,000 surveillance cameras in place around the city of Chongqing to monitor its citizens. The government claims the system’s exclusive purpose is to foil crime and smooth traffic, but the man and woman on the street fear yet another move toward the Big Brother culture in the country, the Wall Street Journal reports
“Peaceful Chongquing,” is the moniker given to this huge video surveillance project that ambitiously seeks to keep an electronic eye on half a million intersections, neighborhoods and parks sprinkled throughout some 400 square miles.
Chongqing’s government will be forking over more than $800 million for the project and another $1.6 billion will be forthcoming from other as yet unidentified sources.
Cisco is the world’s biggest maker of networking equipment and will reportedly provide the mountains of hardware necessary to operate the complex surveillance system.
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