Tags: china | smog | security | difficult

China Officials: Smog Makes Security Surveillance Difficult

Image: China Officials: Smog Makes Security Surveillance Difficult

By    |   Wednesday, 06 Nov 2013 08:42 AM

To Chinese security authorities, the thick choking haze that closes schools, shutters businesses, and pushes tens of millions of people to closet themselves in their homes is much more than a health hazard and an impediment to economic growth.
 
According to a report in the South China Morning Post, many in China’s central government believe smog is also a potential danger to national security because it severely reduces visibility — rendering essentially useless the omnipresent security cameras that enable police to monitor activity in the streets of major cities.
 
As air pollution worsens in China, experts are concerned that terrorists may stage attacks on smoggy days when the cameras are blinded.
 
Government fears of such a scenario have increased in the wake of last week’s car-bomb attack in Tiananmen Square.
 
China’s communist government has commissioned military and civilian scientific teams to come up with a solution
 
Zhang Li, an image processing expert at Tsinghua University, told the Morning Post that it may prove necessary to use radar to ensure security in sensitive areas of the country.
 
While that may offer a technological solution to the problem, there are concerns that it might generate radiation that itself could endanger public health.
 
A National Public Radio report earlier this year quoted one Chinese security analyst who estimated that there are approximately 30 million security cameras operating in China, and that sales will grow by 20 percent a year through 2018.
 
Human-rights activists are concerned about the implications of so much surveillance equipment being operated by an authoritarian regime operating without the rule.
 
"The greatest fear is the state uses its surveillance and technology to curtail the modest freedoms that Chinese enjoy today,” Nicholas Bequelin, a Human Rights Watch researcher based in Hong Kong, told NPR.
 
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To Chinese security authorities, the thick choking haze that closes schools, shutters businesses, and pushes tens of millions of people to closet themselves in their homes is much more than a health hazard and an impediment to economic growth.
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Wednesday, 06 Nov 2013 08:42 AM
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