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China's All-Seeing Eye

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the who-watches-the-watchers dept.

Privacy 213

Greg Walton brings us a lengthy story from Rolling Stone which describes China's comprehensive surveillance project, dubbed Golden Shield. The 'Great Firewall of China,' which we've discussed in the past, is but one aspect of Golden Shield. It also includes national ID cards, CCTV networks, and face-recognition software. This investigation showcases just how massive an undertaking it truly is. When finished, it will dwarf London's surveillance system. Quoting: "Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city. Many are in public spaces, disguised as lampposts. The closed-circuit TV cameras will soon be connected to a single, nationwide network, an all-seeing system that will be capable of tracking and identifying anyone who comes within its range -- a project driven in part by U.S. technology and investment. Over the next three years, Chinese security executives predict they will install as many as 2 million CCTVs in Shenzhen, which would make it the most watched city in the world. (Security-crazy London boasts only half a million surveillance cameras.) ... This is the most important element of all: linking all these tools together in a massive, searchable database of names, photos, residency information, work history and biometric data. When Golden Shield is finished, there will be a photo in those databases for every person in China: 1.3 billion faces."

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On the Brin of Societal Utopia (1)

NetSettler (460623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454158)

When finished, it will dwarf London's surveillance system.

David Brin [slashdot.org] should be thrilled. Maybe we can nominate him as our ambassador to ask them if perhaps they might not mind filling in the missing details required to make this a true Utopia under his model. I'm sure he has lots of ideas for how that's supposed to work.

Re:On the Brin of Societal Utopia (1)

akadruid (606405) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454382)

Whereas Charles Stross will be thrilled to know we've got an export market for Scorpion Stare [wikipedia.org] ...

Transparency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454510)

Transparency in society can only work with transparency in government [wikipedia.org] (certainly not something China has in abundance). That is the concept behind the forming Metagovernment [metagovernment.org] , which is based on the open content model. If nobody has power over other people, then Brin's arguments might not apply (though admittedly there would still be economic discrepancies between individuals).

openness is privacy (4, Interesting)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454518)

David Brin should be thrilled
Sometimes I wonder if Brin is playing a type of nuclear brinkmanship with privacy issues. As in, if we do as Brin says, and accept a completely "open" society without privacy as we understand it, then those who seek to take away privacy in the name of security will begin to balance their demands on our rights because they never really wanted that much access in the first place, they were just ramping up rhetoric as a bargaining tool.

If he is, he's dead wrong. Law enforcement and the military at the top levels are operating more like totalitarian enforcers rather than protecting and serving. The operating mentality is that privacy rights of citizens only serve to impede these neo-totalitarian goals of law enforcement.

In other words, law enforcement whether it's the FBI, Chinese government, or the City of Chicago, will ALWAYS take as many rights as they can in the name of providing security. They actually think that if they can only gain a certain level of knowledge, then they will be able to control practically everything, and thereby provide "security".

These ideas must be fought on two fronts: 1. fighting for privacy in all forms. 2. seeking to change way people view what law enforcement can do.

As for what a person in the US, like me, can do for China...well, that's easy, we must be outspoken in our rejection of American companies that are making money by helping the Chinese abuse its citizens.

Re:openness is privacy (5, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454738)

They always give these projects double-speak names such as "Golden Shield", "Happy Fun Safety Blanket" or "Patriot Act" instead of something like "Citizen Surveillance System".

Re:openness is privacy (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454766)

Well, they were going to call it Golden Eye, but that was already taken.

nonsense (3, Informative)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454660)

Brin doesn't advocate a surveillance state. In Brin's vision, information is available about everyone to everyone, including government officials. The problem with a surveillance state is asymmetric information. In fact, I'm not sure Brin even advocates that; it's rather that he recognizes surveillance as inevitable and tries to make the best of it by reducing the asymmetry.

As for Schneier's criticism, first, I think his arguments is full of holes, and second, he fails to come up with a better alternative. Surveillance is happening. What are you going to do about it?

Not all-seeing eye to eye (4, Insightful)

NetSettler (460623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454814)

Brin doesn't advocate a surveillance state. In Brin's vision, information is available about everyone to everyone, including government officials.

Oh, I absolutely understand that. I saw him at a Computers, Freedom and Privacy [cfp.org] conference a few years back and chatted with him a little about this in the after-talk mingle, so I don't think I'm too confused about what his position is. At least I had a chance, while standing there incredulous, to ask him if he really believed that. (Those are great conferences, by the way, and there's one coming up in New Haven next week [cfp2008.org] . I don't have any clue if Brin will go, and don't much care, but there's always something good on the agenda in my experience, and I wanted to slip in a plug.)

But my point is that it has to be at least a presupposition of his (or anyone's) if you're going to entertain this as other than a philosophical exercise to say that you have to "get there from here". So they've done part of Brin's vision--my point is: How do we get them to do the rest? Because I think the problem with Brin's vision is that you can't ever under any forseeable circumstances get everyone to do the rest. The world is always going to be full of power imbalances, and there will always be someone wanting to keep it that way. So it's just a fantasy to say it could be done. That's why I pointed to this article [slashdot.org] in my prior post.

If Brin believes it's possible to motivate people to all at the same time do something in the public interest that way, first of all, his energy is better spent on getting people to all believe in Global Climate Change, because that's a much more pressing problem and affects us all and yet we can't get people to agree on that either. But either way, it's time for him to put his money where his mouth is, so to speak, and say what the next step is toward Utopia because I'm as tired of his proposed non-solution as I am of some of hearing of some of the non-solutions being pursued for Climate Change.

Re:Not all-seeing eye to eye (4, Insightful)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455054)

Oh, I absolutely understand that.

Well, if you "absolutely understand that", then statements like "David Brin should be thrilled [about China's surveillance society]" are either deliberate misrepresentation or unacceptable carelessness.

If Brin believes it's possible to motivate people to all at the same time do something in the public interest that way

What makes you think Brin believes that? Maybe he merely believes that it is already useful to point out that there is a possibility for a solution that people hadn't considered before.

his energy is better spent on getting people to all believe in Global Climate Change, because that's a much more pressing problem and affects us all and yet we can't get people to agree on that either

Perhaps if you stuck to one big topic at a time and organized your thoughts and arguments around that, you, too, could make a contribution to the debate that is as valuable as Brin's. For even if Brin's solution turns out not to work or to be unattainable, it at least got people thinking about the subject in new ways. I don't see any contribution in your writings so far.

Re:nonsense (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455136)

Surveillance is happening. What are you going to do about it?

I suspect that people will get fed up with it eventually, and start taking matters into their own hands. Small, directed EMP pulses and other kinds of short burst energy can goof up the equipment. Baseball bats work well too, etc.. And, if you're not into that, legions of spray painters can do wonders.

Of course then the government will start making the surveilance equipment more durable, and find ways to combat the damage, but eventually, one would hope, they'll just give up (but I think that's unlikely).

Surveillance equipment only works so long as the population is docile enough to accept it.

Joke - What's Sauron's fetish ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23455170)

He likes to watch.

This is the route all white countries are going (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454172)

down... Because of our JEWISH 'masters'...

First it starts with the denial of free speech. People are sacked from their jobs for disagreeing with the 'official' (i.e. undemocratic) government policy. Then they are imprisoned for saying certain words or phrases in public, or putting up posters of the same. Then CCTV is installed throughout all public places, and then they add microphones so they can even hear what you say.
Then they open the borders and allow all the scum of the third world to enter, and commit hundreds of thousands of crimes against the indigenous population, and anybody who dares speak up about it is labelled a 'racist', or 'full of hate'(TM).
Then civil war breaks out, and the Jews laugh as they move on to the next country...

Re:This is the route all white countries are going (1)

Moochman (54872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454264)

I'm Jewish, and I certainly don't feel like I'm a "master" laughing at this. It hurts me just as much as it hurts you.

Actually, most of the Jews I know have a rather liberal viewpoint and feel rather strongly about the importance of individual liberties.

Where do you get this crap? Where do you come from? I'd take it as a joke except that even it's just not funny...

Re:This is the route all white countries are going (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454306)

No, you're not "Jewish", you're a JEW. Just like I'm not 'Whitish', I'm WHITE.

Who runs America's Congress? Never hear of AIPAC? Who owns 90% of America's media? Who caused the invasion of Iraq? Who is trying to cause the invasion of Iran? Who is responsible for stealing half of Palestine from the Palestinian people? Who are the "Jewish Board of Deputies"? Deputies of WHO? The bloody British government, that's who!

It certainly isn't funny for us 'goyim', is it, Chaim?

Re:This is the route all white countries are going (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454430)

Then these supposed "masters" are not JEWISH, they are JEW. You are caucasian btw. Where are our CAUCASIAN masters?

For the benefit of us all, please just shut the hell up.

Re:This is the route all white countries are going (0, Flamebait)

SiriusStarr (1196697) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454818)

So, you're saying that you're not "dumbish," you're just DUMB!

Well... (0, Offtopic)

hyperz69 (1226464) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454176)

Better to be stuck under a Golden Shield...

then a Golden Shower

*Hides*

Re:Well... (2, Funny)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455050)

Actually, in this case they are the one and the same.

Ob comment... (2, Insightful)

BerntB (584621) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454180)

1984, here we come.

Re:Ob comment... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454332)

1984, here we come.
I wouldn't worry - they all look the same.

Re:Ob comment... (3, Insightful)

hlt32 (1177391) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454522)

You would be surprised how many Chinese people don't mind or even like this.

Re:Ob comment... (1, Flamebait)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454886)

That is because they have been trained/frightened for generations to accept this.

They just don't know any better.

Re:Ob comment... (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455256)

That is because they have been trained/frightened for generations to accept this. They just don't know any better.
Or maybe they just aren't so paranoid. Seriously I don't think many of the people of London are particularly bothered by the numbers of cameras around. I certainly don't care that HM Government can follow me around if they choose to. Can you explain to me why I should?

Re:Ob comment... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455456)

For one reason its none of their business.

If you honestly don't see a problem, then you deserve what little privacy / security you end up with at the end of the day..

Re:Ob comment... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455200)

Why? Hardly anyone in 1984 objected either. Much of the novel is devoted to discussing how the propaganda arm of IngSoc was devoted to making sure that people thought the party was acting in their interests.

Re:Ob comment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454568)

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

Seems that not only China believes on those, but our US Government and UK, France and other European countries as well.

face-recognition software (5, Funny)

lsolano (398432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454214)

it also includes national ID cards, CCTV networks, and face-recognition software.

Without a doubt, a face-recognition software in China is an incredible hi tech piece of software.

Kids stuff.. (0, Troll)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454234)

meh... the Chinese are amateurs. Come to the UK to see a REAL surveillance system. If you're really lucky, Premier Gordon Brownshirt will allow you to leave too.

Re:Kids stuff.. (4, Informative)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454250)

As the article states, there's way more cameras in use, or planned, in places like Shenzen than in all of London.

Re:Kids stuff.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454334)

0.5M vs 2.0M - what difference does it make? The thought process behind it and loss of privacy is the same. The US is also implementing biometric databases and national ID cards, so nothing to crow about here (and don't forget that the US has a higher percentage of it's population in jail than China). The West may have China beat in terms of freedom of speech and lack of censorship, but when it comes to big-brother style monitoring and loss of privacy it's neck and neck.

Re:Kids stuff.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454936)

They have to start somewhere.

goose, gander, etc. (5, Interesting)

dnwq (910646) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454252)

They don't work in the UK, or so we are told. Why should they work in the PRC?

Re:goose, gander, etc. (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454356)

Because in the UK people are used to freedom. They are used to being able to vote in multi-party elections, to choose goods and services, to make a profit. In China people aren't used to these things, chances are there will be very little protests because most simply don't know whats going on is bad. It is comparable to if all you ever knew was dial-up you wouldn't think that dial up was really that slow, however if you had a really really fast connection and all of a sudden you were on dial-up you would think that dial-up was really really slow. Same thing with freedoms, if you have freedom and then it is gone you are more likely to notice and do something about it then if you had little freedoms and just get less freedom.

Re:goose, gander, etc. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454668)

Because in the UK people are used to freedom.

You misunderstand dnwq's comment. He said it doesn't work in the UK. That is, they have half-a-million CCTVs in London and it's made virtually no impact on the crime rate or solving public violent crime.

And ya gotta wonder. The Chinese are planning to install 2 million CCTVs in Shenzhen alone. How are they going to monitor them all? My impression is that it's a massive amount of overkill.

Re:goose, gander, etc. (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454702)

They don't want to prevent crime, they just want to have control over ther population and increase their power.

Re:goose, gander, etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454808)

They don't want to prevent crime, they just want to have control over ther population and increase their power.

In this case the crime is "disobediance to the state" or some such. It's still not going to work.

I shouldn't say you can't monitor over 2 million CCTVs, but even with computers it would be a massive, massive (expensive) project.

Re:goose, gander, etc. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455070)

It isn't really necessary to monitor all the 2 million CCTVs at the same time. If they want to watch you specifically, they only need to find out your current location once, and then a single person can monitor you, switching from one camera to the next as you move.
Yes, monitoring everyone all the time is not realistic. But face it, most people are uninteresting for the government anyway (if not, the government is already in deep trouble). The large number of cameras doesn't enable to watch millions of people all the time, but they do enable to watch a selected few people continuously

Re:goose, gander, etc. (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455148)

Something , i think China is doing it intentionally , to show the world how powerful they are.

Fear is their ultimate tool , both in internal and foreign policies .

Repeating the question - why should that work? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455030)

They don't want to prevent crime, they just want to have control over ther population and increase their power.

And how will the cameras accomplish this?

To me that goal is very similar to what the police want to to with crime in London - have control and increase the power of police over criminals. But it hasn't worked that way at all, crimes are still committed and the cameras do not always help. Why then should they work any better at cracking down on a citizen committed to action against the state, especially since an actual crime like a mugging is much easier to ID on camera than distribution of subversive literature, for example?

You rail against it but don't say why we shouldn't just laugh and let the government waste that money, knowing what will happen.

Re:Repeating the question - why should that work? (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455320)

I agree with your analysis. I really don't understand how the cameras can actually be used by the state for evil, and I've never seen a real example cited.

Re:Repeating the question - why should that work? (2, Insightful)

tmosley (996283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455462)

It's easy to increase your power when you can make your enemies disappear. It's easy to identify one single enemy, then track him and see who he is talking to, where he goes to meetings and suddenly one lead leads you to a den of dissention.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Once you have enough, you send in the jack-booted thugs to black-bag all the big boys and some of the smaller players (to scare the rest of the opposition rank and file) and BAM, no more dissention. They can't even meet in secret, because their every move is being watched.

Re:goose, gander, etc. (5, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454678)

The idea that anyone given a taste of freedom will want to preserve it is false. Look at Russia -- they're moving back towards a police state at an alarming rate, but the populace largely supports it. Given the choice between wealth (or at least comfort) and tight control vs. hardship and freedom, a great many individuals do in practice choose the former. Who are you or I to say that they are wrong?

Re:goose, gander, etc. (1)

straponego (521991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455262)

You're right, but look at Russia? Look at the US. Look at the UK. It appears that a majority of people would rather be slaves-- no privacy, no decisions, as long as they are told they're at less risk, they're still eating, and they have their entertainment.

Thought crime is prevented. (0, Flamebait)

inTheLoo (1255256) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454372)

No opposition is possible. This is the purpose. If you fail to see that, deployment won't make sense to you.

Re:goose, gander, etc. (1)

antirelic (1030688) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454462)

They don't work in the UK, or so we are told. Why should they work in the PRC?
I was wondering the same thing, especially considering how far ahead the UK is in the technology realm. And then I realized that this article is relevant only because of the following:

"a project driven in part by U.S. technology and investment."

I'm not quiet sure what they are talking about, as there are alot of inventions that came out of the US. Could they be talking about any of the following:

- The internets
- DC/AC electrical Systems
- Light bulbs
- Air Planes
- etc.

The point being is that there are a lot of things that are created in the US, AND the rest of the world that were never really intended to be used by oppressive regimes around the world, but they incidentally are. Its not a policy decision of the US government to provide software to the PRC to oppress its citizens. WTF summary fails to do is draw the distinction between "corporate" America and "government" America, which is grossly negligent considering most "US" corporations are truly multinational organizations that couldn't give 2 squats of piss about US national interests when it comes to their bottom lines.

Oh, yeah, it most likely wont work for the PRC. Alot of their whiz bang surveillance and control are pretty over hyped or given credence through some pretty blind round up style witch hunting (when they feel the need to do so, which isnt too often, hence the appearance of reform).

Re:goose, gander, etc. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455216)

Because in the U.K., they are not used to detect thought crimes (yet)

Why were we yelling at Google again? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454268)

Said the US when questioned about its investment in China's burgeoning police state: "We're just jazzed to be part of the show!"

Re:Why were we yelling at Google again? (3, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454326)

I guess Google Street China will not have to go to the trouble of blurring faces :-)

Whats more concerning (4, Interesting)

dretay (583646) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454284)

Is that is may come to the US. One of the rationals for extending US copyright was that we needed to maintain parity with the European Union. I could see some argument regarding anti-terrorism parity resulting in more surveillance here as well.

Look at Chicago. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454438)

Chicago [go.com] is already there.

Red light cameras in the vanguard. (1)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454478)

"Virtual Shield" and "Golden Shield" are hard to tell apart.

Red light cameras can be used for the same thing and are being put in almost everywhere. They are the vanguard of these programs.

sockpuppets (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23455338)

Replying to yourself again twitter?

The copyright issue. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454770)

The "keeping up with the Joneses (EU)" rationale was an obvious lie from the start. The extensions to copyright were made for purely corporate reasons, and it was (is) an assault on society as a whole. Michael Eisner, formerly of Disney, is probably quite proud of himself.

We had a perfectly workable system... arguably more successful that what the EU was using. So why mess with it? For profit, of course!

It needs to be changed back to the way it was.

First they came for the Chinese... (3, Insightful)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454300)

from the article;

This is how this Golden Shield will work: Chinese citizens will be watched around the clock through networked CCTV cameras and remote monitoring of computers. They will be listened to on their phone calls, monitored by digital voice-recognition technologies. Their Internet access will be aggressively limited through the country's notorious system of online controls known as the "Great Firewall." Their movements will be tracked through national ID cards with scannable computer chips and photos that are instantly uploaded to police databases and linked to their holder's personal data. This is the most important element of all: linking all these tools together in a massive, searchable database of names, photos, residency information, work history and biometric data. When Golden Shield is finished, there will be a photo in those databases for every person in China: 1.3 billion faces. //
Like many other security executives I interviewed in China, Yao denies that a primary use of the technology he is selling is to hunt down political activists. "Ninety-five percent," he insists, "is just for regular safety."

In other words, we can find every political activist, dissident and extremist in China,
using only five percent of our security/monitoring capacity.
If this is just regular security, I think I prefer mine unleaded.

Economics of Crime Prevention (4, Insightful)

NetSettler (460623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454622)

In other words, we can find every political activist, dissident and extremist in China, using only five percent of our security/monitoring capacity.

Governments, including ours, "sell" these societal strategies to their citizens as crime-fighting tools. The citizens like low-cost tools because they have fantasies about their taxes going down, etc. But also, J.Q.Public probably often assumes crimes are things like stolen purses or muggers. But such uses are very "small fry" and no serious government is going to build a whole societal surveillance system for so limited a purpose.

Long ago, I had my car broken into in a major US city. When the police arrived, I asked them if they were going to fingerprint it, etc. It seemed plausible they would get some good prints. They just laughed. Only for capital crimes, they explained. It just isn't worth the time and trouble otherwise.

And probably it's only used for capital crimes because they get public exposure. That probably accounts for why there are racial disparities in which capital crimes get followed up. Even there, it is (sadly) probably not really about the severity of the crime, it is more likely about its political impact.

The real crimes, the ones that motivate a government, are those of disagreeing with who's in power in that government or what that power is being used for.

And the most important point is.... (2, Interesting)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454304)

... not what they claim such a system will be used for but rather what it will actually be used for.

Consider all the issues coming to light in pre-Olympic China, regarding human rights....

b-b-b-but (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454314)

"When Golden Shield is finished, there will be a photo in those databases for every person in China: 1.3 billion faces."


But they all look the same ?

Re:b-b-b-but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454432)

all you white people look the same

Look what I found. (0, Troll)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454338)

China called, They said that they want to make the world in to a utopia that looks like this [wikimedia.org]

China is not a city (you fuckwad) (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454344)

Greg Walton brings us a lengthy story from Rolling Stone which describes China's comprehensive surveillance project, dubbed Golden Shield. The 'Great Firewall of China,' which we've discussed in the past, is but one aspect of Golden Shield. It also includes national ID cards, CCTV networks, and face-recognition software. This investigation showcases just how massive an undertaking it truly is. When finished, it will dwarf London's surveillance system. Quoting: "Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city.
What focking city???????

Bad, bad, baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad journalism. Blogs have fucked up the standard of journalism. Idiots rule.

Love it.

Re:China is not a city (you fuckwad) (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454588)

Nah - it's just you.

The quote you truncated includes the name of the city, and the Rolling Stone article (linked to in the story) the quote was taken from, also names it in the very first sentence.

Since you're so lazy, the city is Shenzhen (fastest growing city in the world over the last 30 years).

Re:China is not a city (you fuckwad) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454654)

Look again smart boy,

i - did - not - trucate - shit

that's how it's on the front page

Nice, so people not only cannot write but also cannot read. Good match tho.

Re:China is not a city (you fuckwad) (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454948)

Nope - go back and look again.

Here's a (still truncated) copy of the quote at the top of the story.

Quoting: "Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city. Many are in public spaces, disguised as lampposts. The closed-circuit TV cameras will soon be connected to a single, nationwide network, an all-seeing system that will be capable of tracking and identifying anyone who comes within its range -- a project driven in part by U.S. technology and investment. Over the next three years, Chinese security executives predict they will install as many as 2 million CCTVs in Shenzhen, which would make it the most watched city in the world...."

You chose to truncate this quote at the end of the first sentence "... thoughout the city.", ignoring the fact that it later named city as Shenzen.

As already noted, the Rolling Stone article (well worth reading) the quotes comes from names the city upfront at the start of the article.

Re:China is not a city (you fuckwad) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23455348)

Hehe, that is certainly true... However, you (he) should refer to it as 'Shenzhen' when it's mentioned the first time and as 'city' the second time, not vice versa.

This is like getting a speeding ticket before speeding, doesn't make too much sense. (ob car analogy)

I love copy/pasta just as much as the next guy but still a bit more editorial effort would be nice. Esp. since "nobody RTFA's on /.".

Peace

Re:China is not a city (you fuckwad) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454998)

Given your absolutely abysmal display of grammar, spelling and punctuation, it's clear that you are the one who can't write.

Reverse Surveillance? (2, Insightful)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454366)

Why is it that the authors of these various surveillance societies don't show good faith by building into their laws the requirement that the details of their own lives, being public servants and all, should be constantly monitored and broadcast.

(Personally I would have loved to have the online Clintoncam available a few years back.)

This falls right into the same category which results in that strange coincidence whereby the people who decide who gets paid how much just coincidentally always happen to be worth the very most themselves.

Anyway. Bring on the revolution. It's starting soon I just know it...any day now...

Re:Reverse Surveillance? (1)

Lazarian (906722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454874)

"Why is it that the authors of these various surveillance societies don't show good faith by building into their laws the requirement that the details of their own lives, being public servants and all, should be constantly monitored and broadcast."

Because their intentions are to rule over people with an iron fist, and if any semblance of dissent is detected with hidden surveillance networks, problem individuals can be conveniently disappeared. The fact that people don't even know when they're being watched will smother them even more in fear.

They have no "good faith" at all.

1984 (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454378)

Is it just me or is this amazingly scary? Every line of that article I just kept thinking 1984, 1984, 1984. Horrible. U.S. companies should be banned from supplying any security tech to China, ever. It's disgusting that companies don't give a rat's arse about their principals, only the almighty buck.

China: "Hello, we are looking to enslave and repress our people, do you have the technology?"

U.S. Money Grubbing Scumbags: "Right this way sir!"

We are selling out our own democracy and it sickens me. It's enough to make me want to be a Republican.

This is China: http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Wikileaks_releases_over_150_censored_videos_and_photos_of_the_Tibet_uprising

I hope I am not alive in a world where they are supreme.

From 1984:

"The thought police would get him just the same. He had committedâ"would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paperâ"the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you." â"pg 19

"People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annhilated: vaporized was the usual word." â"pg 20

Face recognition? (-1, Flamebait)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454404)

How? They all look alike.

Re:Face recognition? (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454466)

Ahhh... damn clever these Chinese.

At last! The eternal question: (2, Funny)

overshoot (39700) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454434)

If a dog craps in China and nobody sees it, do flies still gather?

The Brits are going to have to get serious if they want to compete on canine hygiene enforcement.

Re:At last! The eternal question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23455332)

If a dog craps in China and nobody sees it, do flies still gather?
No. US technology and investment screws up the wonders of shit and flies in China.

I think that it's great (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454456)

The sooner that totalitarianism is unmasked in all its horrible glory, the better. One of two things will result.

Either the anarchist kids who do their best to undermine society will wake up to the threat... ...or they will continue as before, the totalitarians march in, and they will learn the true meaning of dictatorship.

Lenin used the term "useful idiots" to describe the nattering spoiled brat self-proclaimed "intellectual elite" of Russia that cried for anarchism. Anarchists were quite successful in destroying Russian civil society, first attacking the wealthy capitalists, then the bourgeoisie, then the petty-bourgeoisie, and finally turning on the well-meaning social democrats.

With all opposition swept aside, Lenin took over. His first act was to line all the useful idiots against the wall.

Re:I think that it's great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454902)

"Fascism: An ideology that combines dictatorial government, militarism, control of the personal freedom, extreme nationalism, and government control of business..."

Just substitute "government control of business" with "business controls government" (which amounts to the same thing doesn't it) and what do you get?

Re:I think that it's great (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455108)

I suppose something different. So Mr. A.C., what do you get?

Great! (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454524)

So our policy of exporting western values through capitalism is in fact giving a communist regime the technology to further control their people. "But isolationism doesn't work!" Oh yeah? I bet Kim Jong Ill is still using those birds from the Flinstones (that chisel out pictures of people on a stone tablet) for surveillance.

The waste (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454536)

Remember the great wall of China? What a lovely tourist attraction. Completely irrelevant in the 21st century. I wonder how many people died building that? And the Berlin wall, such a wonderful exercise in futility. Much like the one they built around Palestine.

Anyone got any figures on the costs of these projects? It's money that may as well have been burned, only burning money doesn't actually destroy real wealth the way futile labor does.

In a few years or decades all these CCTV systems, border posts and checkpoints will be rusting ruins. Moms will take their kids to museums to see how the age of paranoid delusion played out in the early 21st century. Either that or we will all be dead.

All those sad, lonely security people in front of TV screens, wasting their lives watching other people live theirs. All those workers installing security devices that add no value to society, produce no food or fuel. All those leaders marching around with their addled brains unable to grasp the hopelessness and foolishness of it all. What a sad waste of industry and resources. What an insult to humanity at a time when we need to pull together and work on real problems.

We would be better off building some new pyramids.

Unfortunately for us... (2, Insightful)

SideshowBob (82333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454540)

Washington and London are probably green with envy.

more anti-Chinese hysteria (5, Interesting)

808140 (808140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454544)

I don't doubt that the Chinese government would like to build such a system. I have no doubt that they would love, honestly, to actually have the power and influence that they are rumored to have in the west over their people, and to truly be the police state they are accused of being. The government there, like most governments everywhere, has an appetite for power.

But the days of Mao are long gone. There was a time not so long ago when parents everywhere encouraged their children to pursue a career in the state, as a policeman or soldier or political cadre. In the socialist days, that was how you advanced, how you got a good life. The promise of wealth, power, but most of all prestige could be found in those careers. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of police and military folks in those days.

Now, though, the situation has changed. True wealth and prestige come from the market, from private enterprise, and this simple fact is not lost on anyone in China. Parents are realistic about this. They don't encourage their children to enter the police or military anymore -- and if you are Chinese or even Chinese American you know well what "encourage" means when it's being done by a Chinese parent. The policeman and soldier's life is no longer stable or guaranteed, and besides being dangerous it generates far less income for the family than an office job (or, truth be told, even one selling fruit.)

Because of this, there are not enough young Chinese entering the police force.

To put this in perspective, Beijing has 10 million residents, around 4 million migrant workers, and a likely 2 or 3 million undocumented (illegal) residents. In a city this size, a small police force simply doesn't cut it.

It's not for lack of trying, but mainland China simply does not have the infrastructure necessary to be the police state it wants to be and that the west fears it is. As Beijingers say, "guan bu zhao", there are too many people and not enough cops.

So it's not the least bit surprising that this golden shield idea is the goverment's latest fantasy, a way to keep tabs on the populace all while circumventing the increasing human resources shortage that is crippling their once formidable security force.

But that's all it is -- a fantasy.

Sure, they'll put up cameras and buy high-tech imaging software, and maybe they'll be able to maintain that infrastructure in Wang Fu Jing, Xin Tian Di, and downtown Shen Zhen. But in the rest of China -- where the bulk of the population lives -- the notion is simply untenable.

China has more than a billion people, and most of them live in small rural villages that lack sewage infrastructure and running water. The idea that the government would prioritize CCTV surveillance systems in these areas is laughable. They simply don't have the money, the experts necessary to put it up, or any of the other basic requirements for a system that size.

You simply cannot govern a billion people by force alone. Nationalist propaganda can help get people to give you the benefit of the doubt, but once people are suffering the government gets the blame whether it deserves it or not. If you don't believe me, have a chat with a Beijing taxi driver about their wages, which are set by the government. They'll give you an earful. And that's in the capital. It's worse in the provinces.

The Chinese government knows this, and they aren't fools. The polarization of wealth is a much more pressing problem on their agenda than putting up cameras, because they remember that it was precisely a wealthy upper class stomping on the rural poor that put them into power in the first place.

Re:more anti-Chinese hysteria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454914)

It doesn't take a large police force to disappear individual people in the middle of the night, one by one.

Re:more anti-Chinese hysteria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23455038)

Unfortunately the issue in Tibet has shown us that this government can govern by force alone. The Chinese government has become very adept at raising generations of citizens who are in complete support of the tyrannical regime. This current generation is one of the most patriotic the world may have ever known and I have no doubt that most of them would consider it an honor to help in the implementation of a system that watches for 'secessionist activity.'

Unfortunately most Chinese citizens welcome the filtered news and internet brought to them by their government and certainly support any efforts of that government to quell further uprisings by such violent 'terrorists' (as the government lovingly refers to them) as Buddhist monks...

Re:more anti-Chinese hysteria (4, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455276)

The Chinese government has become very adept at raising generations of citizens who are in complete support of the tyrannical regime.

Way to show your biases, and the fact that you seemingly have never spoken to a real Chinese person.

People do not support the communist regime, and certainly do not support the tyrannical aspects of it. They do not support shooting Tibetan monks, nor do they support jailing political prisoners. People don't cheer when another freedom-fighting troublemaker is arrested, they simply accept it as a fact of life, and move on. In your twisted reality you might call that supporting the tyranny by refusing to fight back, but that's far from the truth.

Similarly, people do not generally see the Communist regime as tyrannical. After all, this is the regime that has turned China from backwater agrarian wasteland into THE industrial power of the world. It has lifted tens of millions of people out of poverty, and modernized a country that was ridiculously behind, even just two decades ago. The people have seen explosive economic growth, and the indescribable improvement in their quality of life. This is hardly tyrannical. Most everyone I know accepts that some collateral damage must be done (e.g. political prisoners, putting down unrest in brutal ways) in order for the whole to benefit.

Unfortunately most Chinese citizens welcome the filtered news and internet brought to them by their government and certainly support any efforts of that government to quell further uprisings by such violent 'terrorists' (as the government lovingly refers to them) as Buddhist monks...

Do you assume the Chinese are stupid, you racist fuck? My God, if we all thought like you we'd still think Blacks can't vote, and are subhuman, or some other nonsense like that. The Chinese know full well that their government lies to them every single day. They know that the state media twists everything, and most don't believe in it more than they do fairy tales. I have no doubt *some* of the state media's lies sneak through as truth, but seriously, the state media is NOT a trusted news source in China.

Your attitude sickens me. This whole "America is so superior, we can see right through obvious propaganda, but surely the simple-minded, backwards, uneducated masses in China cannot!" It reeks of the superiority complex that Western media has constantly demonstrated towards Asia.

You want to have a positive influence on Chinese people? Stop publishing ludicrously biased news. I've had the unique opportunity to look at news of the Tibetan uprising from both sides of the media, and I have to say that both sides are *equally* guilty of publishing pure bullshit. China claims that the Dalai Lama is a terrorist inciting war inside Tibet's borders, a ludicrous claim. American papers on the other hand, published a picture of "Chinese" military police brutally suppressing monks in Tibet, when it turns out that the "police" were actually Nepalese, the picture was taken in Nepal, and the Chinese had nothing to do with it. Media bias much?

Give it up, your news media is every bit as "fair and balanced" as the state news in China, and we all manufacture the same propaganda bullshit. Get off your high horse and stop assuming that your media is the paragon of unbiased truth.

Re:more anti-Chinese hysteria (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455156)

Citys are a danger, because if the workers in a city rebel, they can't be stopped, a city wide riot, barricades in the street, building occupied, the police can do nothing, you have to bring in the army then it is economic disaster for that city, and the whole country feels it, there's a risk of revolution. Unrest spreads quickly in a city, it has to be stopped when it's just one group or just one suburb. Thats why they sent tanks to Tianamen Square, put down the students before the workers joined the protest.

The workers in a town rebel, they can take over completly and it doesn;t matter if its a few days untill the police come from the city and beat the shit out of everyone in the town. In the country, the rioters take over thier town then they stop, they have the town, they aren't going to get in a bus and go to the next town. In the city, rioters take over their neighbourhood or suburb, they say, lets go to the next one. They go 3 or 4 street along and get the people there to join them, and so it spreads everywhere.

Noone cares about a piss poor vilage in the middle of nowhere, but if shit kicked of in beijing, the government would shit a brick.

well... (1)

DSVaughan (1007255) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454548)

This certainly sounds just a tad bit...what is that word...ambitious? No...creative? No...Got it! Overbearing and heavy handed!

If the Chinese... (1)

thexile (1058552) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454586)

don't mind, why are the Westerners making a fuss out of it?

US has already stepped/jumpped in this direction (1)

Prisoner's Dilemma (1268306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454598)

Some of the requirements passed as part of the Real-ID ACT around 2005 'anti-terrorism' law are :

states required to run license applications through a federal database

states will have to retain digital images for 10 years

Real ID demands that all driver's licenses or ID cards have pictures that can be read by facial-recognition technology.

Granted Bush hasn't yet publicly requested put up all the cameras, but what's to stop the next step of just requiring government access to all private security feeds, or maybe just promising funding for cities that make their cameras directly accessible. For our benefit of course.

Re:US has already stepped/jumpped in this directio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23455058)

Lucky for us we have some governors and representatives who are against the Real ID, and have sworn against implementing it in their states.

Congress voted against the Real ID Act multiple times before. The Real ID act was snuck into another bill at the last minute because it would not pass on it's own.

Just wait for all the abuses of power... (1)

frostilicus2 (889524) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454682)

This is truly terrifying.

prisoners of happiness (1)

jovius (974690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454688)

China sets up a surveillance system the western 'democracies' only dream of. Telling, satiric and ironic at the same time. Relatively soon we will all live in China. It's obvious when you look at it from far away, but twistedly transparent when you live inside. I wonder how many decades it takes to join all the databases and form an international entity, which has the total control of all the information.

The rulers will further separate themselves from the masses, who will further be subjected to their realities, which are formed by those who control the information flow. What is needed is clarity, but hardly anyone cares because the basic needs are met and the subjecting actions are not lethal. After all, it's all done for your own good and well-being.

Nothng New for China (2, Informative)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454708)

I don't mean it's nothing new for the current Chinese government but also from a historical point of view. China has always had a very strong central government. A few years back I read Spence's Treason by the Book [amazon.com] . The amazing thing about the whole incident is that even during the Qing dynasty, China kept such good records of its population that it was able to very quickly track down and arrest the person who published a pamphlet/book that was considered subversive to the government. This was in an era before computers and databases and, IIRC, in the 1700s.

My point here obviously isn't to justify it but to point out that an "all seeing eye" at the very least serves the purpose of stamping out opposition to the government. Just good record keeping and census as in the case of 18th century China was enough to track down a dissenting voice.

The Awful Burden of Overcapacity (2, Interesting)

NetSettler (460623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454720)

Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed

Well, who can blame them really? They've got to be preparing to do something with all that high tech manufacturing capacity they've got once the economic bottom falls out of the US purchasing market.

I can hardly wait to find out how the analogous situation in the robot manufacturing area plays out. Fortunately, with all those 200,000 cameras, I should have no trouble sitting back and watching it on TV. Robots can't move across water can they? No, probably only in science fiction [slashdot.org] .

Ok, that's silly. No one would ever do anything bad with robots. Let's just stick to the issue of cameras and overcapacity...

Is this project at least "green"? Have they at least planned for environmentally friendly ways of disposing of this many cameras when version 2.0 comes along? Well, maybe the US can by them second-hand as part of some sort of secret arms deal when it hasn't the money to buy them nor the factories to make them. Reduce, reuse, recycle... It's a grand tradition in the international weapons market, which in some ways seems to have pioneered the whole "green" movement now that I think about it. But, oh, that's right. Cameras aren't weapons. Never mind.

Warren S. got it all 8 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454742)

DeusEx here, gentlemen.
Treading the Canal Road, triad compounds, the market... that sound sensor, militia bots, etc. It's all here.

Actually that makes Shenzhen a better city (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23454752)

Funny enough. The CCTV will make more Chinese think Shenzhen is a better city, and choose to live there. The reason China will definitely have more CCTV than UK is simple: there are more people and more populated city. Personally I perfer a police-watched street to crime-dominated steet. Anonymous Coward? yes!

Re:Actually that makes Shenzhen a better city (1)

hob42 (41735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455142)

Coward, perhaps. Anonymous, not so much.

You All Missed the Point... (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454798)

This is an employment program! Think about it: 2M CCTV cameras @ X screens per watcher = 2M/X jobs x 3 shifts. Multiply that by the bureaucratic overhead factor of 2.5 (watchers of watchers and their watchers) and you have some serious job creation. That doesn't even consider the manufacturing and maintenance job creation to support the infrastructure.

Now consider how many lawyers will be needed to operate the pro forma oversight litigation process. OK, maybe only 2-3 in China.

U.S. Investment??? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454800)

Corporations that have been aiding in this endeavor should have their corporate charters revoked NOW, with no reimbursement to stockholders, and sure as hell no compensation to corporate officers.

DO LESS EVIL, Google. And so many others.

Yeah, right.

wiggle room... (1)

posys (1120031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23454826)

Wiggle Room... ...all the more reason to accelerate the rollout of the "ROBOTIC WAGELESS ECONOMY" while we still remember what human rights are, while there is still some wiggle room left... http://roboeco.com/wiggle-room [roboeco.com] Let's leverage the "SUPERCLASS", who are still humans, while there is some wiggle room left : http://teaminfinity.com/COMMUNICAE-12556.shtml [teaminfinity.com]

Security or tax crazed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23455000)

"...Security-crazy London boasts only half a million surveillance cameras..."

Erm, as a Londoner, can I point out that a lot of those are dedicated to the automatic congestion charging system, which requires monitoring of all roads entering or exiting the congestion charge zone (most of the West End).

Is it just me? (1)

stoofa (524247) | more than 6 years ago | (#23455296)

China and the Golden Shield.
James Bond in The Quantum of Solace.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Why does everything sound like a new Harry Potter book nowadays?

Facial recognition software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23455392)

I thought all Asian people looked alike!

(kidding)
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