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China To Deploy World's Largest People Tracking Network

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the big-brother-goes-bigtime dept.

Privacy 368

hackingbear writes "News.com reports that China is building the largest and most sophisticated people-tracking network in the world, all to track citizens in the city of Shenzhen. This network utilizes 20,000 intelligent digital cameras and RFID cards to keep track of the 12.4 million people living in the Southern port city. The key to the system is the new residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips. 'Data on the chip will include not just the citizen's name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord's phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China's controversial "one child" policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card.' While I lived in Shenzhen, there indeed were (and still are) plenty of crimes. One of my friend who lived at the 20th floor of a condo building in a nice neighborhood saw an intruder in the middle of one night while he was sleeping. Still, this will clearly raise the fear of human rights abuses. And ... 'one of the most startling aspects of this plan is that this project is mostly made possible by an American company with solid venture fundings.'"

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So... (5, Insightful)

MacDork (560499) | about 7 years ago | (#20206089)

They're getting social security cards. How nice.

Re:So... (1)

conlaw (983784) | about 7 years ago | (#20206197)

"this will clearly raise the fear of human rights abuses."

And just how is monitoring everything from your purchases to your sex life NOT a human rights abuse?

one of the most startling aspects of this plan is that this project is mostly made possible by an American company with solid venture fundings.'

And I greatly fear that unless we all start using those four boxes (from someone's sig), this country may continue sliding down the proverbial slippery slope to that sort of monitoring of us.

Johnny Mnemonic (1995) in China, err 2021. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206585)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113481/plotsummary [imdb.com]

Johnny! Let's go! Lucky!

Re:Johnny Mnemonic (1995) in China, err 2021. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206673)

Leading into... [imdb.com]

Revocation of emotions only seems like the logical next step...

Go China! (1, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 7 years ago | (#20206093)

This would be awesome if it was open to the public. As long as it's not just a way for the few to know everything about the many and engage in selective enforcement, it's towards the good. Go China!

Re:Go China! (5, Insightful)

haluness (219661) | about 7 years ago | (#20206115)

Yet if this were done in NYC or London, there would be a string of posts condemning such action?

Frankly, wherever something like this happens, it's something to be wary of. Given China's track record I don't think there doing it just for the fun of it.

Re:Go China! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206127)

this is just the test market

new york city and london will have it soon enough

People Tracking & RFID (3, Insightful)

memojuez (910304) | about 7 years ago | (#20206523)

Anonymous Coward may be correct;

With RFID chips already embedded in your Passport and the ability of the Authorities to locate your cell through triangulation [findarticles.com] , the potential already exists here.

Re:People Tracking & RFID (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 7 years ago | (#20206699)

Anonymous Coward may be correct;


With RFID chips already embedded in your Passport and the ability of the Authorities to locate your cell through triangulation [findarticles.com] , the potential already exists here.

Except that isn't actually true. Right now if I were to call 911 for the fun of it, they wouldn't triangulate, they would use the built in GPS chip to tell them where I am. They might also use triangulation to nail it, but they would primarily rely on the GPS. My last phone had one as well. I could switch it off, but for some reason the reception improved significantly if I left it on.

For legitimate safety reasons cell phones come with the chips now. As to whether or not they can be dialed up randomly like the onstar navigation ones, I don't know. But that is an important part of the e911 system, the ability to know where the device is when an emergency call is made. It would be paranoia at this point to assume that the police or FBI are randomly monitoring people.

Re:Go China! (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 7 years ago | (#20206213)

The problem with NYC and London is that they inflate the privacy fears among the population, while simultaneously inflating the mad bomber fears among the population, and end up leaving the population with the worst of both worlds...

Spy cameras everywhere, lots of evidence for selective enforcement should that be convenient to anyone in power, but instead of having everyone looking out for each other with this newfound access to timely information, it's just collected and stored to be used as a weapon against individuals later.

The people who live in NYC and London should be demanding that all footage from those cameras be publicly accessible, instantly and indefinitely. They should be willing to kill for it if necessary, because they will be utterly ruled by it if they don't.

Stalin himself never had it so good.

Re:Go China! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206299)

They should be willing to kill for it if necessary

Indeed, isn't there something in the constitution about a the right to bear arms being necessary so the common folk can check the power of government run amok .. by force if necessary?

Re:Go China! (2, Informative)

truthsearch (249536) | about 7 years ago | (#20206327)

In NYC most of the cameras are private. The police aren't actively using these private cameras to monitor citizens. They don't have anywhere near the manpower to make this possible even if they wanted to. Camera footage is typically only viewed by the police if it happened to catch a crime.

That's not to say we won't have a problem in the future. But as of right now I'm not too worried about it in NYC.

Re:Go China! (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 years ago | (#20206571)

This has happened in the US, in New Orleans [bbwexchange.com] and a few other places [interesting-people.org] . It seems to be quite good at reducing crime, with murder rates down 57% and auto thefts down 30%.

The scary thing here isn't the video cameras, it's the RFID tags. No car thief is going to carry an ID to let themselves be tracked. This is to track the citizens, see what they are doing; to know what their patterns are, to determine if they are subversive. What other purpose can there be?

Re:Go China! (3, Funny)

MacDork (560499) | about 7 years ago | (#20206125)

Equal access... yeah, great... bullies could find that nerdy kid instantly. Child molesters and stalkers wouldn't even have to leave the sofa to keep an eye on their prey. And of course, the wife will always know if you're *really* where you say you are.

Re:Go China! (1, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 7 years ago | (#20206243)

Parents could find the nerdy kid instantly... authorities would know inconclusively about the bully and what he's been doing, child molesters and stalkers wouldn't be able to stalk anyone undetected, ever, and old dishonourable scumbags wouldn't be able to cheat on their wives and steal the younger generations women.

Sounds awesome. Unless you're a scumbag, which you've most likely become if you managed to survive several decades in this corrupt world we live in...

Re:Go China! (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | about 7 years ago | (#20206343)

You've pointed out the 50/50 side in an equal world. In the real world, however, all of that is trumped if you're a mid-to-high ranking government or business official (and there's no current PR need for a scapegoat), or if you're one of the guys who has direct access to the database, or you work in a capacity where you can disable the monitor for periods of time, or if you're financially connected to the any of the aforementioned people.

Same arbitrary and selective enforcement with a whole new set of weapons to use against the hapless general population.

Re:Go China! (1)

MacDork (560499) | about 7 years ago | (#20206679)

I was thinking more along the lines of surprising her with that Lexus with the big red bow on it, but sure, cheating too if that's what you're into. As far as child molesters and stalkers being unable to circumvent the technology... well, I think you put a little too much trust in the technologies infallibility. Tin foil can foil RFID, and facial recognition is in it's infancy. Where Jim average is going to go out as Jim average, John Stalker will wear a wig and a fake mustache, perhaps a little morticians putty. And the bully? Well, he can use location info alone to torment the poor kid at school. Something along the lines of "I checked up on billy last night and guess where he was... At the butt wart clinic! Ha ha!!"

10 Reasons to Track the Largest People (5, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | about 7 years ago | (#20206649)

"China to Deploy World's Largest People Tracking Network"

  1. We can now avoid embarrasing mistakes, like calling Greenpeace to help remove a "beached whale" that's just a "Large Person" sunbathing
  2. They take up too much space in checkout aisles - if we can track them, we'll know when its safe to shop
  3. You want to track which "all-you-can-eat" they're hanging out at tonight - so you can avoid it
  4. Tracking them will avoid conflicts in lineups because "they smell funny"
  5. Once we track them, we can make sure they're wearing their backup alarms
  6. We can implement "no-fridge exclusionary zones" for their own good
  7. In an emergency, we can locate them quickly, and line them up to use them as a defensive shield against, say asteroids
  8. Knowing their history, we can avoid buying cars they once owned, with their associated suspension and steering problems
  9. We can enhance safety by making sure that any elevator refuses to take on more than one "Huge Person"
  10. Instead of charging everyone more for junk food, we can only tax "Huge People"
Go, China!

Re:Go China! (3, Insightful)

robably (1044462) | about 7 years ago | (#20206675)

This would be awesome if it was open to the public. As long as it's not just a way for the few to know everything about the many and engage in selective enforcement, it's towards the good.
If we give the public cancer that's bad, but so long as we give the people in charge cancer too, that's GREAT!!! Honestly what on Earth is the attraction some people see in a surveillance state, regardless of who is doing the surveilling?
Surveillance isn't like a debt that can be cancelled out by the other side paying it too - if both sides are under surveillance, both sides LOSE.

RFID cards? (4, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 7 years ago | (#20206095)

Why bother. Why not inject an RFID implant in the arms off all citizens? I mean, if your going to be treated like cattle, why not go all the way?

Moo!

What a wonderful idea! (2)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | about 7 years ago | (#20206103)

We'll let China start this one so that they can work out hte bugs in the software exploits, hardware exploits, and social engineering exploits. Then we can deploy it here in the States in the next five to ten years or so. We don't have to worry about the social engineering exploits, though, because we have this system called "security clearance" here in the US which absolutely prevents any undesirable character from ever gaining any sort of priveleged access to government resources on individual citizens.

residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips programmed by the same company will be issued to most citizens.
Gosh. Good thing they don't tell us which company that will be. We'll likely find out that, through whatever business alliances they have, their executives and board members are probably also major shareholders in IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Pfizer, the Dow, GM, Goldman-Sachs, and Shell Oil. I'd love to be one of the guys who gets in on the priveleged stock offerings which will roll out due to this multi-billion dollar "monitor the world" contract.

"We have a very good relationship with U.S. companies like IBM, Cisco, H.P., Dell," said Robin Huang, the chief operating officer of China Public Security. "All of these U.S. companies work with us to build our system together."
HA! Good thing I RTFA this time!

HA-HA!

This is why I am scared (5, Insightful)

saibot834 (1061528) | about 7 years ago | (#20206107)

I live in Germany and we still got democracy here, but who guaranties me that this will be like that forever? China's use of total surveillance should be a warning to us all, what can happen too us, too.

People always say: 'I have nothing to hide, so I am not against surveillance'. They don't realize that this might change.

Re:This is why I am scared (4, Interesting)

jez9999 (618189) | about 7 years ago | (#20206179)

People always say: 'I have nothing to hide, so I am not against surveillance'. They don't realize that this might change.

Do you really think people who say that would change their minds as long as the government could cite some perceived improvements in security as justification for the extra surveillence? I honestly don't think they would. *THAT'S* what's scary.

Re:This is why I am scared (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | about 7 years ago | (#20206345)

Do you really think people who say that would change their minds as long as the government could cite some perceived improvements in security as justification for the extra surveillence? I honestly don't think they would. *THAT'S* what's scary.

No, what's scary is that we sit in the United States talking about saving freedom by fighting terrorists and their supporters in the Middle East when we have an entire country like China who openly tracks and oppresses their people but we stand idly by and let their money pay for our war on the wrong tyrannies. I could go on to say the same thing about Brittan, the United States itself, etc but I won't bother, I'm preaching to the choir.

What is even more scary is that here in the US, and I'm just as much at fault as anyone I chastise, we are letting more and more occur without standing up for what our country was founded on. We call the true freedom fights protesters instead of patriots. We don't rise up in huge numbers against one of the most evil, horrifying, and ironic Presidents that has ever graced our White House. We sit here on Slashdot, huddled around in our offices and our homes, and talk about serious change by use of our free and democratic process but watch as the President threatens to keep our lawmakers in session past their beloved vacation unless they allow him to spy on Americans and their friends and family some more. Even if they had ignored his bullshit, he would have just passed an Executive Order stating he could do it anyway all while continuing to use precious "Homeland Security" resources finding the source of the leak so that he could jail them indefinitly as a terrorist or traitor while he's the one that is by far the leading example. So much for democracy...

We're all a bunch of fucking pussies and that's what's scary.

Re:This is why I am scared (3, Insightful)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | about 7 years ago | (#20206499)

We're all a bunch of fucking pussies and that's what's scary.
And the alternative is what? Everyone could end up like me: homeless and monitored post-per-post by slavering account farming trolls demanding "where's the evidence" and screaming "conspiracy theorist" for any statement they make?

All of the talk, the rhetoric, the grand speeches, and the good will in the world is meaningless against the power of the purse strings. As a total population we have no control left over government taxation and spending.

Even if they had ignored his bullshit, he would have just passed an Executive Order stating he could do it anyway
That's the bottom line of it all: "Even if they had... he would have just... anyway." That's what happens when the whole of the population is maintained in inescapable debt. The entire nation was reduced, financially, to slave status about a century ago. It's much too late now to expect that people do anything but try to live their lives in a manner which is most comfortable for them. Some people manage to work their way into positions of greater or lesser privelege. That's about the best they can hope for.

Even if everyone would write in "Donald Duck" for every election from today forward, the politicians would just resume their own offices and collect their usual taxes and boondoggle and pork-barrel their friends and business associates anyway. It's one big useless show created to hide the reality that America is a classist nation, it is a plutocracy, and we do have a caste system which is every bit as rigid as anything ever imagined in any other nation.

I'm probably preaching to the choir, too. Mostly I just don't want to be homeless anymore but neither am I going to acquiesce to being shoveled back into the animal farm.

Re:This is why I am scared (2)

E++99 (880734) | about 7 years ago | (#20206549)

No, what's scary is that we sit in the United States talking about saving freedom by fighting terrorists and their supporters in the Middle East when we have an entire country like China who openly tracks and oppresses their people but we stand idly by and let their money pay for our war on the wrong tyrannies.

If you're suggesting that China is more oppressive than Baathist Iraq was, then one must conclude you know virtually nothing about either.

Re:This is why I am scared (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | about 7 years ago | (#20206239)

I live in Germany and we still got democracy here, but who guaranties me that this will be like that forever? China's use of total surveillance should be a warning to us all, what can happen too us, too.

People always say: 'I have nothing to hide, so I am not against surveillance'. They don't realize that this might change.
My friend, as someone's sig puts it (my apologies, I can't remember whose sig it is): "You have 4 boxes to be used in this order: soap, jury, ballot, ammo".


I assume, perhaps erroneously, that Germany is very cautious of things like this because of Hilter's usurping of power; we Americans have not learned this lesson yet, and are in a much worse position. Governments should be afraid of their people, not the other way around. I don't think the German people would take very kindly to RFID chips, so you have that working to your advantage.

This is why I am not scared (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 7 years ago | (#20206313)

It really doesn't matter to me. As long as the state is fair I have nothing to worry about. When a brutal state arises, taking away one of the few liberties I had, wouldn't make a difference anyway. I have said this more than often: If you don't trust the state now, there are far bigger problems than cameras watching you.

Re:This is why I am not scared (1, Redundant)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 7 years ago | (#20206543)

t really doesn't matter to me. As long as the state is fair I have nothing to worry about. When a brutal state arises, taking away one of the few liberties I had, wouldn't make a difference anyway. I have said this more than often: If you don't trust the state now, there are far bigger problems than cameras watching you.

I don't trust the State. Never have, never will. Technology like this has SO many abuse potentials designed right into the system. It's not a question of if it'll be abused, it's a question of when.

I forget who originally said it, but Robert A Heinlein quoted them saying "In a mature society, 'civil servant' is semantically equivilent to 'civil master'."

Re:This is why I am scared (1)

westlake (615356) | about 7 years ago | (#20206417)

I live in Germany and we still got democracy here, but who guaranties me that this will be like that forever? China's use of total surveillance should be a warning to us all, what can happen too us, too.

China has a tradition of centralized, bureaucratic, government that goes back to the Ch'In Empire ca. 200 BC. The right way to approach this question is to look at your own history and culture.

Re:This is why I am scared (1)

maxume (22995) | about 7 years ago | (#20206449)

It's your job to guarantee it for yourself and for those that come after you. Mistakes can and must be fixed.

Re:This is why I am scared (4, Insightful)

Hooya (518216) | about 7 years ago | (#20206697)

To those that regurgitate "I have nothing to hide..", I ask them: "So when can I come by and install a web cam in your bedroom?" That usually shuts them up pretty quick.

I think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206111)

I think this would work great in the United States. I just hope this will finally help us cut down on exploitation of children.

Re:I think... (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about 7 years ago | (#20206393)

I think this would work great in the United States. I just hope this will finally help us cut down on exploitation of children.

Ok, let me guess ... you are definitely NOT a Catholic priest... right?

Sorry, mate. (1)

Malekin (1079147) | about 7 years ago | (#20206635)

Sorry mate, I think your humour is just a little too clever for slashdot. Perhaps you could try again with "overlords" in there somewhere.

Old News (5, Funny)

stevedcc (1000313) | about 7 years ago | (#20206117)

I heard this was implemented in 1984!

Just a Test For, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206131)

Detroit, Newark, and a few select other cities. Perfect the technology in China on their Dime (Yuan) and when the terrorist!@#!immigrant situation is just right domestically, sell sell sell.

With all that information in one place, it would all to easy to associate somebody to an issue/crime (fictitious reasoning or not), deny them insurance, refuse entry to an establishment (RFID readers at the door)... Damn, I feel _safe_ already!!

What's so startling? (1)

faloi (738831) | about 7 years ago | (#20206133)

A company out to make money, does it really matter where the company is from?

I'm sure if there are any problems or abuses, we're not likely to hear about it for a long time.

Re:What's so startling? (1)

haluness (219661) | about 7 years ago | (#20206173)

Not really - but you have all these soundbites in the US about human rights and quality of life etc. It's a little jarring to hear the hypocrisy.

Re:What's so startling? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 7 years ago | (#20206207)

Human rights, the right to life... such things are why an American company can exist to make money for itself. Freedom to do stuff usually means you have the freedom to do stuff that isn't necessarily good for everyone else...

Besides that, one [insert country here] company doesn't mean that all [insert same country here] companies are evil and inhumane, nor does it mean that's a [insert same country here] moral... unless, of course, we want to make sure the government keeps total track of all the companies to make sure that everything they do is humane and lawful and ... hm, that sounds like what China is doing with this city's citizens.

Re:What's so startling? (2, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | about 7 years ago | (#20206409)

What hypocrisy? If you try really hard, you'll hear multiple sides of a lot issues thrown around. Unless we finally get all the way to enforced groupthink, my neighbor doing something I speak out against doesn't make either of us a hypocrite.

Re:What's so startling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206185)

What I want to know is which company and what is there stock ticker?
/not against making money either

Re:What's so startling? (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about 7 years ago | (#20206407)

Protection of State, and thereby The People, is *NOT* abuse!

- Chairman Mao

Weird... (4, Funny)

martinelli (1082609) | about 7 years ago | (#20206135)

"One of my friend who lived at the 20th floor of a condo building in a nice neighborhood saw an intruder in the middle of one night while he was sleeping." Something doesn't add up here.

Re:Weird... (4, Funny)

cp.tar (871488) | about 7 years ago | (#20206157)

In China, people have to sleep with at least one eye open.

Re:Weird... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 7 years ago | (#20206193)

Surprisingly yes.

There have been numerous accounts of "spiderman" perpetrators who scale the walls of high-rise dwellings. For example, in Xiamen China, I've seen many condos with iron bar cages covering the windows from ground to top. Freaky, I know!

Re:Weird... (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about 7 years ago | (#20206227)

"One of my friend who lived at the 20th floor of a condo building in a nice neighborhood saw an intruder in the middle of one night while he was sleeping." Something doesn't add up here.

In China, they're so afraid of crime they even *dream* about it.

Re:Weird... (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | about 7 years ago | (#20206305)

Seems perfectly straight-forward to me - the intruder was taking a power nap before carrying on with his nefarious work, it's hard work intruding on people, especially if you've had to climb 20 floors to get there.

Sleep with one eye open (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 years ago | (#20206641)

Maybe they saw the sandman enter.

Mirror, Mirror... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206137)

I can't see this as being any different from unregulated corporate databases and tracking in the West. It's just a question of whether you prefer private industry or government to do things. It all shakes out the same way so I can't understand why people make such an issue over it.

What's the real agenda? Is it just the Europe and Asia do things differently? Take a look at the $200 billion telephone company fraud and healthcare system. That's an elite lining its own pockets and abusing people in your own backyard. How can you point fingers with a straight face?

I'm not really sure Slashdot has much of an understanding or consideration for other people. The standard position is just aggressive and interfering. This non-stop "advocacy" is as bad as any neo-con propaganda but you don't get it. You've become the enemy. Wake up.

A big boom for fake id business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206141)

Fake [netsmarter.com] ID [pconline.com.cn] rocks!

It's going this way... (5, Insightful)

Token_Internet_Girl (1131287) | about 7 years ago | (#20206155)

"It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself--anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face... was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime..." - Orwell

Just curious (1)

wamerocity (1106155) | about 7 years ago | (#20206187)

but what kind of infrastructure does it take to monitor 12.5 million people? Even with cameras and RFID chips, I can't imagine how many people it would take to operate a system like that.

Now fast forward to America, if something like this did happen, and we had to implement a new cabinet position for the Head of the Department of Homeland Surveillance, how many people and what kind of infrastructure would it take to monitor 200+ million Americans? I don't think Americans would stand for it. Or at least I hope we wouldn't, but then again NSA and Homeland Security have been breaching this topic for months and haven't received that many obstacles...

Re:Just curious (4, Insightful)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | about 7 years ago | (#20206323)

but what kind of infrastructure does

It doesn't take much people to monitor a system like this at all. Computers do most of the screening work to point out the small selection of people who deserve further manual investigation. The quality of the algorithms is becoming such that people will eventually not be required to intervene. The biggest problem is finding space for all the computers and data storage.

I don't think Americans would stand for it.

Americans will stand for anything. Somebody will tell them that it is a way of reducing petty crime, protecting the children, making paying for groceries easier, etc. Nowhere will it be mentioned that the entire reason for the system is to track your asses. The dumb cattle majority of people there (and around the world) will buy the lies hook, line and sinker. the masses will only work out that it's about tracking their asses when it's too late to do anything about it.

Re:Just curious (1)

gomadtroll (206628) | about 7 years ago | (#20206667)

"but what kind of infrastructure does it take to monitor 12.5 million people? Even with cameras and RFID chips, I can't imagine how many people it would take to operate a system like that.

Now fast forward to America, if something like this did happen, and we had to implement a new cabinet position for the Head of the Department of Homeland Surveillance, how many people and what kind of infrastructure would it take to monitor 200+ million Americans?"

The US government probably can't pull thus off, but.. google might be able to do it right now.. no wait, collecting all data on all things is not 'evil".

Catch 22? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 7 years ago | (#20206189)

Seems there's a catch 22 with these sorts of things. I don't exactly like China's government and whatever, but I think every government faces something similar to this: which is worse, crime or total surveillance?

Obviously, surveillance should increase capture of criminals, if not prevent some. On the other hand... most people like being allowed to be private, for whatever reason - you don't have to be doing something WRONG to want privacy.

So, at the very least, it will be interesting to see what happens with this system.

Re:Catch 22? (2, Insightful)

nagora (177841) | about 7 years ago | (#20206405)

which is worse, crime or total surveillance

That's easy: total surveillance, because it allows the people who control it to get away with crimes and frame those who they fear. Once a system is believed to be perfect proof of anything, those who can edit it become all powerful.

Every law we have to restrain or control the police or government was enacted for a reason, and that reason was abuse of powers by police and governments. Laws like that don't just fall out of trees.

TWW

Re:Catch 22? (4, Interesting)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about 7 years ago | (#20206457)

Please note, that while the UK has one of the worlds most comprehensive use of surveillance (especially in the London area) it has *NOT* reduced crime rates. That is a simple statistical fact.

I think surveillance creates a sense of false security for many less-informed people. So they demand more surveillance. The government is only happy to provide it. So are the companies contracted to implement the necessary technology. That is why the use of surveillance is increasing - even though there is clear proof it does not prevent crime (or terrorism for that matter!).

I think the "Dispair inc" poster with the group or parachuters says it all: "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups". We did. Cameras on every corner and multiple RFIDs on every citizen appears to be the result.

- Jesper

Re:Catch 22? (1)

UnlimitedAccess (1020921) | about 7 years ago | (#20206653)

Tracking people is not only unethical because "people like there privacy". Its a larger issue than that. Thomas Jefferson; "God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." And personally I believe if you treat a society like children they will begin to act more and more like one.

personal reproductive history (1, Troll)

bl8n8r (649187) | about 7 years ago | (#20206203)

"Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China's controversial "one child" policy."

This is creepy. In that documentary called China Blue [pbs.org] , it was stated by one of the factory owners that most of it's workforce is ignorant and too stupid to think for themselves. They really regard people there as illiterate simpletons. I don't know how well educated the population is, but it's a pretty crappy attitude and kind of epitomizes the human rights problems in China.

I wonder how long the chinese people will put up with this. I wonder how long the rest of the world will put up with it when it comes comes to their back yard under the guise of "Think of the Children" or "War on Terror"

Re:personal reproductive history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206251)

In that documentary called China Blue [pbs.org], it was stated by one of the factory owners that most of it's workforce is ignorant and too stupid to think for themselves.

If China is anything like America, this is probably just an accurate statement.

The human rights abuses are completely separate.

Re:personal reproductive history (2, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | about 7 years ago | (#20206285)

China's "one child" policy is about the only thing their government got right. Human overpopulation is the elephant in the room, and I actually applaud them for standing up and doing something to stop it there.

Re:personal reproductive history (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 7 years ago | (#20206379)

You moron. We're about to face a crisis of underpopulation that will cause widespread societal collapse in all first world nations.

China should be encouraging them all to have 3, then when the population of North America is cut in half in ten years, they do the same thing the Europeans did.

Birth control and feminism are to thank for that. If only we could turn rats and cockroaches on to these ideas... they'd exterminate themselves in a few generations. Just like we've been doing.

Re:personal reproductive history (1)

frup (998325) | about 7 years ago | (#20206415)

The only westerners breeding are the ones we don't want to have breed too. When will that genetic engineering research and those artificial wombs finally deliver us our clone army? China is destroying their enviroment. When it gets too unberable expect a long march across Asia and Europe.

Re:personal reproductive history (0, Troll)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 7 years ago | (#20206507)

That's bullshit rhetoric used by those who want to confound the issue. We want them all to breed.

It's a daily affair... you read an article about how there's a crisis, not enough workers, can't let the old retire, need immigrants, but can't let them in cause they'd replace our culture with their own.

Then the same news organization crows triumphantly about the success they've had in combating teenage pregnancy, and what a great thing this is for the world. Because we really need more women with expensive, useless educations to work in insignificant, white collar, middle management jobs.

What a fucking joke.

Incidentally, this was all right there in the actuary tables that the life insurance industry collects all along... governments have been quietly planning for this clusterfuck for at least a decade.

I made the mistake of trying to talk about it at a dinner party 10 years ago, and wow... you wanna talk about a sense of pissed off entitlement... boomers thinking that because they worked all their life and saved for retirement, magic elves were going to sprout up to fetch them food and mow their lawn for them.

Whatever. I'll be at -1 in a moment anyway, and no one will read this.

Re:personal reproductive history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206387)

Should be implemented in Mexico too.

Re:personal reproductive history (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206445)

I'm pretty sure the power elite in the U.S. have the same feelings for the rest of its citizens, too. Those in power always want to remain in power.

goldfish (2, Insightful)

roesti (531884) | about 7 years ago | (#20206551)

This is creepy. In that documentary called China Blue, it was stated by one of the factory owners that most of it's workforce is ignorant and too stupid to think for themselves. They really regard people there as illiterate simpletons.

Wow, that's nothing like Australia, Britain or the US at all. Corporations and governments treat us not as ignorant, illiterate simpletons but as ignorant, illiterate simpletons with short memories. It's hard to believe we have it so good.

I wonder how long the chinese people will put up with this. I wonder how long the rest of the world will put up with it when it comes comes to their back yard under the guise of "Think of the Children" or "War on Terror"

Indeed...

better than the other way around (1)

r00t (33219) | about 7 years ago | (#20206215)

Consider if China was supplying the tech to the USA.

That applies in many ways. Who wants to be watched? Assuming the supplier's government has a backdoor, do you want one government or two governments watching you?

Re:better than the other way around (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#20206291)

When it comes here, believe me China will be supplying the tech to the USA. Who do you think already manufactures CCD imagers and most of the other components required to build such a system? China. And if they aren't yet capable of providing all of it, by the time we're ready to buy into it wholesale they will be.

RFID cards? (1)

Al Young (1141321) | about 7 years ago | (#20206271)

RFID cards? I can't wait to see the buffer overflow [slashdot.org] on this scale.

made possible (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 7 years ago | (#20206277)

by an American company with solid venture fundings.

IBM? or Singer? :-) Let's not fool ourselves. Freedom is a dirty word in this post 9/11 world. It hardly gets mentioned in any of the debates or other political discussions having to do with the elections. The economy is all that matters.

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose...

centralized vs p2p surveillance (1)

Gabest (852807) | about 7 years ago | (#20206289)

There is a more effective way to monitor the activities of people, it was widely used in eastern europe and was very successful, just let one part of the population monitor the other part, vica-versa. Yes, they will, if they are forced to.

The path to world slavery (4, Insightful)

frup (998325) | about 7 years ago | (#20206297)

1) Remove oponents. (Tick)
2) Dumb down the population (remove the individual). (Tick)
3) Monitor & Track. (Tick)
4) Step 1.
5) Use data to make Step 2 more effective.
6) Step 3.
7) MIND CONTROL.

Now you and your friends live in luxury with 6 billion slaves at your dispense. What a warm fuzzy feeling :).

Re:The path to world slavery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206453)

What's the point if you don't have 4) PROFIT ?

Re:The path to world slavery (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 7 years ago | (#20206677)

1. Popularize conformity.
2. Ban altered states of mind.

The rest takes care of itself.

 

I bet the Gov will make the people feel safer (1)

mediis (952323) | about 7 years ago | (#20206351)

.... and in the long run, isn't that what the gov is supposed to do... protect the people? Since protecting the people has been the bread and butter to one US political party, I'm sure we will see this in the US sometime in the near future. I guess the term "red states" will have a double meaning. All sarcasm aside, if it was to be implemented here whomever would tie it to "child safety", to make the kids safer. You think I am kidding? Watch what they do w/ National Health Care

Re:I bet the Gov will make the people feel safer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206441)

You're probably a healthy person who has not had illness touch
the lives of your family.

If your financial security was hanging by a thread because of
the outrageous prices charged for the simplest medical care,
your opinion of national health care might be different, dangers
or not.

It could happen here... (1)

dominion (3153) | about 7 years ago | (#20206355)

one of the most startling aspects of this plan is that this project is mostly made possible by an American company with solid venture fundings.'

For us Americans, there should be two fundamental questions on our minds: Who is this company, and how do we stop them?

made possible by an american company??? (2, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | about 7 years ago | (#20206357)

"this project is mostly made possible by an American company with solid venture fundings"

god i'm sick of this bullshit. seriously, stop trying to blame the white man for EVERYTHING. this whole scheme is made possible by communist control freaks in china. they would make this happen with or without this company.

i mean come on, now it's america's fault when china does fucked up things? i'm not even american and even i'm sick of the retarded american bashing.

Re:made possible by an american company??? (4, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | about 7 years ago | (#20206513)

It's not America's fault, it's the American company's fault. I think you're being a bit oversensitive - that sentence doesn't bash America, it raises alarm that our corporate community is knee-deep in China's systematic oppression of their people.

Yeah, the oppression will continue regardless of American companies' involvement, but that doesn't justify being involved.

but the american company isn't the point (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 7 years ago | (#20206619)

the point should be that criticism should rightfully focus on china. but there exists a certain set of kneejerks who hear something is bad is happening somewhere in the world, plot a line to the usa through some creative incrimination, and think no more of the subject, instead all of their energy winds up in typical anti-american rants

the point should be solving problems in the world. on a case by case basis, sometimes the usa DOES deserve blame. but for some people, that's not the point. for them, the point is blaming the usa for ALL of the problems in the world

bizarrely enough, this rationale actually justifies american involvement in places like iraq. because if the usa were responsible for saddam hussein (as many people actually think) then it is the responsibility of the usa to remove saddam hussein. if you don't think the usa should be in iraq, then you need to begin to remove american culpability for so many wrongs in the world in your mind. because by you finding the usa culpable, you are implicitly asking for american involvement in solving the problem

in other words, anti-americanism has the perverse effect of furthering american involvement in places in the world it does not belong

there is a big world out there, and it does not revolve around the usa. unfortunately, some people can't think of the world in any other way except how it revolves around the usa. this makes them completely useless for solving many of the problems they actually feel very strongly about. for such people, their hearts are in the right place, but their minds are hopelessly propagandized to puerile america bashing, rendering them completely pointless and useless. loud, yes, but dumb

the proper attitude towards the usa is neither pro- nor anti-. because the source of real problems in the world, and the solutions to them, does not center on the usa. in your criticisms, if you always wind up criticizing the usa, you fail it. where it=understanding the reality of the world you live in, and actually solving any problems in it. you want to matter in this world, don't you? then you need to understand how places other than washington dc can be a source of evil, and your thoughts and words must reflect that realization

Re:made possible by an american company??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206681)

"this project is mostly made possible by an American company with solid venture fundings"


The infrastructure to set it up would be Chinese-made if their government had the tech to do so. China prefers a home-grown solution, but since it's just not available domestically, they'll buy elsewhere for now. Just like how the Great Firewall of China is made up of Cisco routers.

Huge correction to the title (2, Insightful)

Spiked_Three (626260) | about 7 years ago | (#20206363)

China is deploying the worlds largest 'known' people tracking system. There are plenty of secret ones just as big already deployed.

And how do you know this exactly? (1)

Bragador (1036480) | about 7 years ago | (#20206643)

You were modded insightful and it is true that your idea is intriguing. On the other hand you do not back your claims with facts which makes for a poor attempt at starting a discussion. Don't give China more credits than it deserves.

If you want to start a conspiracy, at least do like the other crackpots out there and use tidbits of informations to explain why you think China has "plenty of secret ones just as big".

Obligotory (0, Offtopic)

AlanS2002 (580378) | about 7 years ago | (#20206377)

I, for one, welcome our new ever surveillant overlords.

It could happen here... wait, it has (1)

themushroom (197365) | about 7 years ago | (#20206413)

Bush is just sad that he didn't try this first (on Americans as a test group, before tacking RFID's on actual or suspected bad guys) but since it's an American company doing this, which the government gets a cut of the profit on, he can't complain too much.

China? Nah, we need this in Afghanistan, where the actual people we're supposedly at war with are hiding.

Expect to see a new brand of identity theft in China. Brings to mind a scene from a movie (starring Bruce Willis) where someone's thumb got cut off so someone else could use its print to get access to sensitive areas.

Big Brother Livin Large in 2007 (4, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 7 years ago | (#20206467)

This kinda thing freaks me out in so many ways.

Keeping track of 'minor purchases'?? Whose business is it that I buy a pack of cigarettes or some condoms or whatever? Why is the government so interested in this petty stuff unless it intends to use this info against me someday? Why does the government have cause to know who I hang with, who I sleep with?

How long until cards like this are used to replace hard currency in order to 'fine tune' the economy and strip the last vestiges of privacy? How long until having legal tender in your possession is considered a crime because 'only terrorists have untracable cash'?

Computer,state the last known location of Dr McCoy (2, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | about 7 years ago | (#20206471)

While this is scary, use of computers in everyday life necessarily equals loss of privacy as everything you do can be automatically scanned for patterns, archived indefinitely and disclosed to 3rd parties. If we don't want to be under constant surveillance, we as geeks should abandon our jobs and insist that critical functions in our society are performed by direct interaction between humans who, unlike computers, can be taught discretion.

Data Manipulation: The New Black Market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206487)

Let's face it. This is our future. Anonymity is gone. Information is power and those that hold it will reign supreme over all others. It conjures images of SciFi movies involving the police seeking to hunt down criminals and suspects like Minority Report, Blade Runner, whatever, etc(Like databases like this don't already exist). Fear not, crime will never go away. It will become more reclusive and offer services to the masses in the form of data manipulation. The tweaking of those details such as health, eye color, ethnicity, and others will be sought after and the prices will be high on the black market. Thinking of landing that wonderful job, hmmm? Have someone dummy up your personal details to make the interview go smoothly.

I've been watching to much SciFi lately, LOL!

 

CEOs weeping (1)

curious.corn (167387) | about 7 years ago | (#20206495)

I've heard stories of EU CEOs brought to tears at the sight of so many disciplined, docile and productive individuals. China is the testing ground for productivism, although it has a distinct taste to EU citizens, many don't learn lessons. WWII didn't really wipe out the idea, just made it clear that some extremes and a certain marketing strategies don't make good press. But as Mussolini used to say: "the media is the 4th armed force"... and we'll soon cheer at the Olympics and praise... and admire and cry at the discipline...

Why go through all that trouble? (3, Interesting)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about 7 years ago | (#20206535)

Why go through all that trouble?

Store it on the SIM card of the citizens cellphone and remove the OFF switch from the phone (force companies to only manufacture/import cellphones without OFF switches). Make the phone send an SMS to the nearest police station with the text "ARREST ME PLS" if the users neglects to charge it.

In that way, the existing cellphone network can be extended to tracking all citizens 24/7 using their SIM and EMEI id's (no need for upgrades anywhere except logfile data storage), no matter where they go. It even works without setting up new RFID scanners and without buying fancy new tech from contracting companies.

How many places do you think such a system is already in place? Do you always carry your cellphone with your without thinking about it? Do you ever turn it off?

(Hint: several hundred western cities in both the US and EU have near-similar systems for "polulation movement research" which they claim only saves anonymous data. Yeah right!)

- Jesper

Re:Why go through all that trouble? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 7 years ago | (#20206595)

there are areas where you get no or a weak voice only cell network link. And this in in big city area and in the US cell phone DATA and text messing costs to much for that and some people have that tuned off so they don't pay for incoming texts yes you pay when someone sends you a text.

Obligatory Simpsons reference... (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 7 years ago | (#20206563)

...the largest and most sophisticated people-tracking network in the world - so far.

This sounds callous... (1)

Azuma Hazuki (955769) | about 7 years ago | (#20206577)

...but if this is as big a disaster as I think it will be, hopefully it will be a case study of what *not* to do for the rest of the world. I feel very sorry for China, and this only makes it worse.

And this, folks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20206593)

Is what EMP bombs are for.

Because they can... (1)

dtjohnson (102237) | about 7 years ago | (#20206599)

Technology of the last few years has made this sort of tracking possible and governments everywhere will begin doing it. It's only a matter of time. Would Americans ever go for this? Maybe they would if it was sold to them as a way to fight crime, protect their children, combat terrorism, and prevent illegal immigrants from taking their jobs. Once it's in, like driver's license identification, income tax forms, or social security numbers, it will never leave.

How far are WE from this really? (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | about 7 years ago | (#20206603)

I know that I come from a fairly small town and there are "safety cameras" popping up all over the place! How far are we in the United States from a security camera on every corner?

Okay... yes... I am paranoid but sometimes I connect the dots pretty well too. It's never a good idea to blindly trust that your liberties will be protected by the government. Hell, now days we have to protect our liberties FROM the government.

I think that the destruction of the middle class is going to leave a lot of people really pissed off. If a government decides that it needs to control and repress its own population wouldn't a world where "safety cameras" were everywhere be kind of handy?

CP dating! (1)

wytcld (179112) | about 7 years ago | (#20206651)

While Communist Party officials already have a big dating advantage, think of it now! They can scan the items of interest and get full details on children, employment, ethnicity.... Truly, for the modern Chinese Communist Party functionary, it's a wonderful life!

America Wanged (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | about 7 years ago | (#20206693)

From the article: "Michael Lin, the vice president for investor relations at China Public Security Technology, the company providing the technology. Incorporated in Florida, China Public Security has raised much of the money to develop its technology from two investment funds in Plano, Tex., Pinnacle Fund and Pinnacle China Fund. Three investment banks--Roth Capital Partners in Newport Beach, Calif.; Oppenheimer & Company in New York; and First Asia Finance Group of Hong Kong--helped raise the money."

If American Companies cooperate with this sort of repression, and Congress does nothing to stop it, then America has forgotten what it once stood for. What a disgrace.
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