Tags: china | national surveillance system | security and surveillance technology

NYT: China Assembles Unprecedented Surveillance System

Image: NYT: China Assembles Unprecedented Surveillance System

Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s major upgrade of the Chinese surveillance state has turned it into the world’s biggest market for security and surveillance technology, with analysts estimating China will have almost 300 million cameras installed by 2020.

By    |   Monday, 09 July 2018 12:34 PM

China is reversing the commonly held vision of technology as a great democratizer, instead using the industry’s latest advances to assemble a vast and unprecedented national surveillance system, The New York Times reported on Monday.

China has an estimated 200 million surveillance cameras, which is four times as many as the United States, located in such places as train stations, intersections and housing complexes.

Although the country’s bureaucratic inefficiencies prevent the creation of a complete nationwide network, the Chinese authorities are generally pleased as even the perception of surveillance can keep the public in line and under control.

"This is potentially a totally new way for the government to manage the economy and society," said Martin Chorzempa, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "The goal is algorithmic governance."

China’s new surveillance is based on the old idea that only strong authority can bring order to a turbulent country and is adapted to the country’s new situation, where economic growth has created a severe wealth gap.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s major upgrade of the Chinese surveillance state has turned it into the world’s biggest market for security and surveillance technology, with analysts estimating China will have almost 300 million cameras installed by 2020.

"Reform and opening has already failed, but no one dares to say it," said Chinese historian Zhang Lifan, citing China’s four-decade post-Mao policy. "The current system has created severe social and economic segregation. So now the rulers use the taxpayers’ money to monitor the taxpayers."

The system is prevalent in many rural areas, with a mass surveillance network having the potential to turn every television set and mobile phone in to a security monitoring terminal, according to the Global Times.

The paper described how a villager can witness something suspicious on his TV, which is connected to surveillance cameras placed around the village though streaming boxes and apps, and simply press a button on his remote control to instantaneously inform authorities of the incident.

Private companies see big potential in the industry, according to the Times. China’s public security market was valued at more than $80 billion last year but could be worth even more as the nation builds its capabilities, said Shen Xinyang, a former Google data scientist who is now chief technology officer of Eyecool, a start-up.

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Politics
China is reversing the commonly held vision of technology as a great democratizer, instead using the industry’s latest advances to assemble a vast and unprecedented national surveillance system, The New York Times reported on Monday.
china, national surveillance system, security and surveillance technology
385
2018-34-09
Monday, 09 July 2018 12:34 PM
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