• 01 JUN 19
    • 0

    China’s People Monitoring Software Being Deployed In Darwin (two articles)

    From lifehacker.com.au/

    By Antony Caruana

    Apr 30, 2019

    The Chinese government’s desire to ensure social control is well known with its “social credit’ monitoring system the stuff of nightmares for those of us accustomed to personal freedom. But part of the software used by the Chinese government is now being exported and found a customer in the City of Darwin. The City of Darwin has been looking at adopting smart city technology and has decided to implement facial recognition software and other monitoring solutions in order to detect anomalous behaviour or if a known criminal or someone banned from entering a specific area.

    The software will then alert authorities who can intercede when someone traverses what the council is calling a “virtual fence”.

    It all sounds like a good idea except that it will be scanning everyone’s face. And that’s a rich treasure trove of data that could be used in all sorts of ways.

    Initially reported by The NT News, the council’s Innovation, Growth and Development Services general manager Josh Sattler said the system will use cameras and other sensors to monitor who is moving around and what they are using their smartphones for.

    “(It will tell us) where people are using Wi-Fi, what they’re using Wi-Fi for, are they watching YouTube etc, all these bits of information we can share with businesses … we can let businesses know ‘hey, 80 per cent of people actually use Instagram within this area of the city, between these hours’.

    Frankly, I find this a scary step further down the road of a surveillance state. With the city’s desire to use data from WiFi networks commercially and, potentially, other purposes, it reinforces my view that there is no safe public WiFi if you value privacy.

    https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2019/04/chinas-people-monitoring-software-being-deployed-in-darwin/

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    And see the report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute:

    Technology-enhanced authoritarian control with global consequences

    28 Jun 2018

    Excerpt

    China’s ‘social credit system’ (SCS)—the use of big-data collection and analysis to monitor, shape and rate behaviour via economic and social processes1—doesn’t stop at China’s borders. Social credit regulations are already being used to force businesses to change their language to accommodate the political demands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Analysis of the system is often focused on a ‘credit record’ or a domestic ranking system for individuals; however, the system is much more complicated and expansive than that. It’s part of a complex system of control—being augmented with technology—that’s embedded in the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) strategy of social management and economic development.2 It will affect international businesses and overseas Chinese communities and has the potential to interfere directly in the sovereignty of other nations. Evidence of this reach was seen recently when the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration accused international airlines of ‘serious dishonesty’ for allegedly violating Chinese laws when they listed Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau on their international websites.3 The Civil Aviation Industry Credit Management Measures (Trial Measures) that the airlines are accused of violating were written to implement two key policies on establishing the SCS.4

    As businesses continue to comply, the acceptance of the CCP’s claims will eventually become an automatic decision and hence a norm that interferes with the sovereignty of other nations. For members of the public on the receiving end of such changes, the CCP’s narrative becomes the dominant ‘truth’ and alternative views and evidence are marginalised. This narrative control affects individuals in China, Chinese and international businesses, other states and their citizens…SNIP

    Read the full report here

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