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China’s Big Brother Social Control Goes to Australia

A woman looking at social networking apps Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Twitter, Messenger, and Linkedin on a smartphone in Kuala Lumpur in a file photo. (MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman looking at social networking apps Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Twitter, Messenger, and Linkedin on a smartphone in Kuala Lumpur in a file photo. (MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)

China’s Big Brother Social Control Goes to Australia

Australia is preparing to debut its version of the Chinese regime’s high-tech system for monitoring and controlling its citizens. The launch, to take place in the northern city of Darwin, will include systems to monitor people’s activity via their cell phones.

The new system is based on monitoring programs in Shenzhen, China, where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is testing its Social Credit System. Officials on the Darwin council traveled to Shenzhen, according to NT News, to “have a chance to see exactly how their Smart Technology works prior to being fully rolled out.”

In Darwin, they’ve already constructed “poles, fitted with speakers, cameras and Wi-Fi,” according to NT News, to monitor people, their movements around the city, the websites they visit, and what apps they use. The monitoring will be done mainly by artificial intelligence, but will alert authorities based on set triggers.

Just as in China, the surveillance system is being branded as a “smart city” program, and while Australian officials claim its operations are benign, they’ve announced it functions to monitor cell phone activity and “virtual fences” that will trigger alerts if people cross them.

“We’ll be getting sent an alarm saying, ‘There’s a person in this area that you’ve put a virtual fence around.’ … Boom, an alert goes out to whatever authority, whether it’s us or police to say ‘look at camera five,’” said Josh Sattler, the Darwin council’s general manager for innovation, growth, and development services, according to NT News.

The nature of the “virtual fences” and what type of activity will sound an alarm still isn’t being made clear.

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