Human Rights Watch got their hands on an app used by Chinese authorities in the western Xinjiang region to surveil, track and categorize the entire local population – particularly the 13 million or so Turkic Muslims subject to heightened scrutiny, of which around one million are thought to live in ‘reeducation’ camps.
By “reverse engineering” the code in the “Integrated Joint Operations Platform” (IJOP) app, HRW was able to identify the exact criteria authorities rely on to ‘maintain social order.’ Of note, IJOP is “central to a larger ecosystem of social monitoring and control in the region,” and similar to systems being deployed throughout the entire country.
The platform targets 36 types of people for data collection, from those who have “collected money or materials for mosques with enthusiasm,” to people who stop using smartphones.
[A]uthorities are collecting massive amounts of personal information—from the color of a person’s car to their height down to the precise centimeter—and feeding it into the IJOP central system, linking that data to the person’s national identification card number. Our analysis also shows that Xinjiang authorities consider many forms of lawful, everyday, non-violent behavior—such as “not socializing with neighbors, often avoiding using the front door”—as suspicious. The app also labels the use of 51 network tools as suspicious, including many Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and encrypted communication tools, such as WhatsApp and Viber. –Human Rights Watch
Another method of tracking is the “Four Associations”
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