FPI / December 12, 2019
Communist China has tested in several of its major cities a new system which uses millions of cameras linked to supercomputers to compile databases on citizens in what critics say is an Orwellian move to control all behavior.
The new high-tech system employs 5G, as well as other technology swiped from the United States, in a mass surveillance and coercion system “aimed at suppressing political dissent among its 1.4 billion people, while forcing American and Western businesses to conform to the government’s communist policies if they want to operate there,” Bill Gertz noted in a Dec. 9 analysis for The Washington Times.
The system, dubbed the Social Credit System (SCS), uses face and voice recognition technology to identify and monitor people “with the goal of controlling behaviors that range from dissident political activity to jaywalking,” Gertz wrote.
While Beijing refers to the program as part of its “social management” element of communist ideology, critics say the system in reality is designed to preserve the power of the Communist Party of China, blacklisting and punishing anyone who is spotted by the system engaging in any unapproved activities.
With the emergence of next-generation 5G telecommunications technology, the reach of the surveillance networks is only expected to increase.
As part of the stepped-up surveillance, the government of Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping announced this month that all who purchase SIM cards for mobile phones must first produce a facial recognition print.
China’s social credit system, said Victor H. Mair, professor of Chinese language at the University of Pennsylvania, ”is stripping away individual identity and reducing people to mere ciphers.”
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence called out the program in a recent speech, warning that China’s surveillance state is “growing more expansive and intrusive — often with the help of U.S. technology.”
“By 2020, China’s rulers aim to implement an Orwellian system premised on controlling virtually every facet of human life — the so-called social credit score,” Pence said. “In the words of that program’s official blueprint, it will ‘allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven, while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.’ ”