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China Will Use Millions Of Zimbabwe Citizens To Improve Facial Recognition Accuracy

China Will Use Millions Of Zimbabwe Citizens To Improve Facial Recognition Accuracy

As China spreads its economic footprints across multiple continents with The Belt and Road Initiative, and exercises more and more control over the lives of its subjects via a combination its Social Credit Score system and vast surveillance state, it appears Beijing’s Big Brother has run into an issue that needs to be addressed to achieve world domination… inaccuracy!

Facial recognition systems are becoming more and more mainstream and accepted by an increasing number of ‘average joes’ around the world as the cost of security (or just ease of life). The problem is, as we detailed previouslyfor some segments of society, it is wildly inaccurate.

Specifically, after Oakland and San Francisco voted against the use of facial recognition, Rep. Tashida Tlaib claimed that “the error rate among African-Americans, especially women,” was 60 percent.

During a test run by the ACLU of Northern California, facial recognition misidentified 26 members of the California legislature as people in a database of arrest photos.

Some tech firms have tried to ‘fix’ this extremely high-level of inaccuracy for certain cohorts by tricking black people into being scanned.

But China’s tech behemoths have taken the process of training their algos on non-white faces to a whole new level.

As The FT reportsa deal between Chinese facial recognition company CloudWalk and the government of Zimbabwe means the latter will send data on millions of African faces to the Chinese company to help train the technology.

African states tend to go along with what is being put forward by China and the ITU as they don’t have the resources to develop standards themselves,” said Richard Wingfield, head of legal at Global Partners Digital, a company working on human rights on the internet.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China: Man Interrogated For Criticizing Police on Social Media

China: Man Interrogated For Criticizing Police on Social Media

Social credit score coming to the west soon.

A video out of China shows a man being called in and interrogated by authorities for the crime of criticizing the police on social media.

The clip shows the man handcuffed to a metal chair as he is asked personal questions.

“Why did you complain about police on QQ and WeChat?” police ask the man.

He is then grilled about his screen name and activity in a group chat on the WeChat platform.


China spies on social media conversations. Then they bring dissidents in for a real-life chat. I’d say we’re AT LEAST five years away from that over here, so no worries.


“Why did you talk about the traffic police online…what’s wrong with police confiscating motorcycles?” he is then asked.

The man attempts to come across as apologetic but is then asked again, “Why did you badmouth the police? Do you hate the police?”

The man explains that he was drunk when he made the comments and is then asked to apologize to the police.

“I’m so sorry, I’m wrong, I know, I know that now, please forgive me, I won’t do it again ever,” he states.

Under its social credit score system, China punishes people who criticize the government, as well as numerous other behaviors, including;

– Bad driving.
– Smoking on trains.
– Buying too many video games.
– Buying too much junk food.
– Buying too much alcohol.
– Calling a friend who has a low credit score .
– Having a friend online who has a low credit score.
– Posting “fake news” online.
– Visiting unauthorized websites.
– Walking your dog without a leash.
– Letting your dog bark too much.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Beijing To Link Facial Recognition System With Social Credit Score In New Metro Security Checks

Beijing To Link Facial Recognition System With Social Credit Score In New Metro Security Checks

Officials in Beijing will combine the country’s state-of-the-art facial recognition technology with a version of their controversial ‘credit system’ to speed up security checks in the city’s overcrowded metro system, according to HKFP.

Long queues and commuters arguing with staff over slow security procedures are common sites during rush hour in the metro system of the 20 million-strong metropolis. –HKFP

Cameras set up at the entrance to subway stations will scan the faces of passengers, sorting them into different security channels, according to the director of the Beijing Rail Traffic Control Center, Zhan Minghui.

He added that the plan will involve the creation of a “passenger credit system” in which ‘white-listed’ individuals will enjoy expedited security clearance. Those who receive “abnormal feedback” after their face scans will be subject to extra security measures.

“The technique aims to improve the efficiency of security checks and includes both body checks and luggage screening when large numbers of passengers enter the station,” Zhan said on Thursday at an urban transportation forum in Beijing.

In May, the Beijing subway announced that it had started “deducting credit points” from passengers who eat in metro cars.

Officials did not announce a timeline for the rollout.

Beijing’s subway system currently handles approximately 12 million trips on an average workday – a figure expected to increase to 17 million within the next two years. 

China’s use of facial recognition is becoming more commonplace. The Beijing Universal Studios amusement park which is currently under construction will admit visitors without a ticket – and will use cameras that scan their faces to determine whether they have paid for a ticket.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

USSA Social Credit: The U.S. Denied Entry to Student Because of His Friend’s Social Media Posts

USSA SOCIAL CREDIT: THE U.S. DENIED ENTRY TO STUDENT BECAUSE OF HIS FRIEND’S SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS

A Harvard student has been denied entry to the United States because of what one of his friends posted on social media. Ismail Ajjawi reportedly had his visa canceled after hours of questioning at Boston’s airport by the USSA.

Silicon Valley is already hard at work manipulating behavior, taking on the role of anauthoritarian government, and attempting to punish people for not acting the way they see fit. But it’s gone a step further.  The government is now rejecting entry to the country for foreigners based on their friends’ actions and social media posts.  This is the dystopian future George Orwell warned us about in his iconic book, 1984.

Written 70 years ago, 1984 was Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984, the year, has come and gone, his dystopian vision of a government that will do anything to control the narrative is timelier than ever.

Ajjawi’s friends posted “political points of view that oppose the United States, reported CNET. The U.S. government is obviously probing visa applicants’ social media profiles and punishing people for their friends’ opinions. Ajjawi, from Lebanon, didn’t actually do anything wrong.  He’s “guilty by association.”  The U.S. government is one of totalitarian control and wants ultimate power over everything, including your very thoughts and opinions.  This is a truly horrific time in human history. 

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesperson Michael McCarthy said in an emailed statement that he couldn’t offer specific details on Ajjawi’s case due to confidentiality clauses. “This individual was deemed inadmissible to the United States based on information discovered during the CBP inspection,” he wrote. Ajjawi, who got a scholarship to study in the U.S., returned home to Lebanon over the weekend. He and the university are working to resolve the matter before classes start next Tuesday.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Conflicting Forces of Modernism: Kafka and Kierkegaard

The Conflicting Forces of Modernism: Kafka and Kierkegaard

We seem to be heading into a confrontation between the two forces of Modernism: the primacy of the individual versus the increasing technological and economic might of the central state.

In Kafka’s Nightmare Emerges: China’s “Social Credit Score” (May 7, 2018), I wrote about Kafka’s vision of a bureaucratic nightmare emerging in China’s “Social Credit Score.”

The idea here is the central state sets up a vast, pervasive surveillance system to monitor all its citizens, and assigns a social score to each citizen based on his/her compliance with regulations and social norms as defined by the state.

In Kafka’s nightmarish novels, an opaque, impenetrable and impersonalized bureaucracy controls the social and economic structures of everyday life.

China’s system is based on a social score, but one’s social score has enormous economic consequences: the citizen with a low score can be denied rights to travel, his/her children can be denied access to educational opportunities and so on.

As I noted, there doesn’t appear to be a legal process for challenging one’s low social score, or much transparency on the various violations and weighting of violations that go into calculating each individual’s score.

I’ve often written about the difference between force and power: as per Edward Luttwak, force (coercion) is costly and clumsy, while power works via persuasion, grudging or otherwise.

China is attempting to create a system that is extremely coercive (a low score generates severe punishments) but also seeks to internalize the social scoring system: no authority figure is required to force individuals to comply; each individual internalizes the rules and modifies their own behavior accordingly.

This aligns with China’s historic reliance on internalized social norms to control its vast populace. Even in the Song Dynasty (960 AD to 1279 AD), the central state relied on the internalized social norms of Confucian values to “order society” with minimal coercion.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

The Implicit Desperation of China’s “Social Credit” System

The Implicit Desperation of China’s “Social Credit” System

Other governments are keenly interested in following China’s lead.
I’ve been pondering the excellent 1964 history of the Southern Song Dynasty’s capital of HangzhouDaily Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276 by Jacques Gernet, in light of the Chinese government’s unprecedented “Social Credit Score” system, which I addressed in Kafka’s Nightmare Emerges: China’s “Social Credit Score”.
The scope of this surveillance is so broad and pervasive that it borders on science fiction: a recent Western visitor noted that train passengers hear an automated warning on certain lines, in Mandarin and English, that their compliance with regulations will be observed and may be punished via a poor social score.
In the Song Dynasty, arguably China’s high water mark in many ways (before the Mongol conquest changed China’s trajectory), social control required very little force. The power of social control rested in the cultural hierarchy of Confucian values: one obeyed the family’s patriarch, one’s local rulers and ultimately, the Emperor.
Author Edward Luttwak made the distinction between force and power in his fascinating book The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century CE to the Third: power is persuading people to cooperate, force is making them obey.
Power is people choosing of their own accord to comply, for reasons they find sound and that serves their self-interest; there is little need for the application of force.
Power is highly leveraged; a relatively small police/military and judiciary is all that’s needed. Force, in contrast, doesn’t scale: it’s enormously costly in capital and labor to monitor an entire populace and impose control and obedience.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Communist China Moves To Control Billions Through ‘Social Credit’

Communist China Moves To Control Billions Through ‘Social Credit’

In a chilling but unsurprising move, Communist China seeks ultimate control over the population by introducing a scorecard which will supposedly keep the public in check. The big brother system will monitor all citizens 24/7 and keep a “score” of their activities.

The Communist Party’s plan in China is for every one of its 1.4 billion citizens to be at the whim of a dystopian social credit system, and it’s on track to be fully operational by the year 2020. According to News.com.au, an active pilot program has already seen millions of people each assigned a score out of 800. Those people will either reap the benefits of having a high score or suffer the consequences of a low social score. Depending on which end of the scale they sit, their behavior could see them punished.

The data is combined with information collected from individuals’ government records, which include medical and educational, along with their financial and internet browsing histories. Overall scores can go up and down in “real time” dependant on the person’s behavior but they can also be affected by people they associate with. “If your best friend or your dad says something negative about the government, you’ll lose points too,” the ABC reports.  The Chinese will be assumed guilty by association and no longer able to speak out about their own oppression.

Participation in the “social credit” system was first announced in 2014 and is mandatory. The government is attempting to control the actions of the public in a bid to reinforce the notion that “keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful,” according to a government document.

“If people keep their promises they can go anywhere in the world,” said Tianjin general manager Jie Cong. For Jie, it’s black and white with no grey area. “If people break their promises they won’t be able to move an inch!”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Facebook’s Secret “User-Reputation Score” Exposed

In a hideous reflection of China’s already-prevalent ‘Social Credit’ systemwhich is a rating assigned to each citizen based on government data regarding their economic and social statusThe Washington Post reports that Facebook has begun to assign its users a reputation score, predicting their trustworthiness on a scale from zero to one.

Under the guise of its effort to combat ‘fake news’, WaPo notes (citing an interview with Tessa Lyons, the product manager who is in charge of fighting misinformation) that the previously unreported ratings system, which Facebook has developed over the last year, has evolved to include measuring the credibility of users to help identify malicious actors.

Users’ trustworthiness score between zero and one isn’t meant to be an absolute indicator of a person’s credibility, Lyons told the publication, nor is there is a single unified reputation score that users are assigned.

“One of the signals we use is how people interact with articles,” Lyons said in a follow-up email.

“For example, if someone previously gave us feedback that an article was false and the article was confirmed false by a fact-checker, then we might weight that person’s future false news feedback more than someone who indiscriminately provides false news feedback on lots of articles, including ones that end up being rated as true.”

The score is one measurement among thousands of behavioral clues that Facebook now takes into account as it seeks to understand risk.

“I like to make the joke that, if people only reported things that were [actually] false, this job would be so easy!” said Lyons in the interview. “People often report things that they just disagree with.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Kafka’s Nightmare Emerges: China’s “Social Credit Score”

Kafka’s Nightmare Emerges: China’s “Social Credit Score”

China is creating Kafka’s nightmare world as the perfection of centralized control of its citizenry.

China is rapidly building out a Total Surveillance State on a scale that far surpasses any government surveillance program in the West. The scope of this surveillance is so broad and pervasive that it borders on science fiction:

Life Inside China’s Total Surveillance State (8 min video)

China Aims For Near-Total Surveillance, Including in People’s Homes (“Sharp Eyes” nationwide surveillance network)

“You’re Being Controlled All The Time” – An Inside Look At China’s “Social Credit Score”

China Assigns Every Citizen A ‘Social Credit Score To Identify Who Is And Isn’t Trustworthy

It’s well known that the intelligence agencies in America seek what’s known as Total Information Awareness, the goal being to identify and disrupt terrorists before they can strike.

This level of surveillance has run partly aground on civil liberties concerns, which still have a fragile hold on the American psyche and culture.

The implicit goal of China’s Total Surveillance State is to control the citizenry and root out any dissent before it threatens The Communist Party’s hold on power, but the explicit goal is a behavioral psychologist’s dream: to reward “positive social behaviors” and punish “negative social behaviors” via a “Social Credit Score.”

There is something breathtakingly appealing to anyone in a position of power about this goal: imagine being able to catch miscreants who smoke in no-smoking zones, who jaywalk, who cheat people online, and of course, who say something negative about those in power.

But let’s ask a simple question of China’s vast surveillance system: what happens when it’s wrong? What if one of those thousands of cameras mis-identifies a citizen breaking some minor social code, and over time, does so enough times to trigger negative consequences for the innocent citizen?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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