Go ahead and search “China surveillance” (Pro-tip: Use DuckDuckGo or an alternative search engine!) and watch how many articles pop up regarding the growing digital dystopia being finalized across the People’s Republic of China. Titles like, Smart ID cards and facial recognition: How China spreads surveillance tech around the world and China’s new surveillance state, everyone will be watched, reviewed and rated really warm the heart and fill the head with a vision of a society where no thought is private, criticism of the State is illegal, and your social behaviors affect your place in life.
This is the current state of much of China. And it’s coming to a neighborhood near you.
Case in point, Reuters recently reported that Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp is developing a “Smart Card” for Venezuela to help track citizens every move. The Venezuelan government sent a group to China to learn how to build their own surveillance state. Reuters reports:
‘What we saw in China changed everything,’ said the member of the Venezuelan delegation, technical advisor Anthony Daquin. His initial amazement, he said, gradually turned to fear that such a system could lead to abuses of privacy by Venezuela’s government. ‘They were looking to have citizen control.’
The following year, when he raised concerns with Venezuelan officials, Daquin told Reuters, he was detained, beaten and extorted by intelligence agents. They knocked several teeth out with a handgun and accused him of treasonous behavior, Daquin said, prompting him to flee the country. Government spokespeople had no comment on Daquin’s account.
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