A nerd’s paradise

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Orwellian nightmare: China

While reading ‘Der Spiegel’ on-line I came across an interesting and shocking article on China and electronic surveillance. We all know that China doesn’t take human rights seriously, let alone the privacy and dignity of its citizens. But now, they have cracked it up a notch. Yes, China is getting worse, gathering from what I am reading here. Hard to believe but true…and sad.

Read the article here: in german

For those of you who don’t understand German a quick summary of the contents. The article titled: “China creates surveillance paradise”, gives us a glimce into the future foretold by George Orwell. Well, according to ‘Der Spiegel’ a future even worse than Orwell could have ever dreamed of in his worst nightmares.

At this very moment 180000 video-cameras monitor everything that is going on in the city of Shenzhen. Every movement is recorded, every shop you enter, every waking moment that you are outside of the confines of you own home you are videotaped. I guess the people of that city must feel like celebs being chased by paparazzi. But apparently, this is not enough for the government. Now they want to install an extra 20000 cameras in the city.
On top of that those cameras will be linked with each other and will be accessible to every cop via computer. It does not stop there! In the next three years the citizens of this city will be issued new identity card, equipped with a microchip containing such personal data as how many children you have, who you work for, your education, your phone number and many other facts and tidbits that really should not be on a identity card.

People who do not possess such a pass will not reside legally in their own city! And no, it does not end there. You thought the story of the video surveillance was over? Beep. Wrong. Facial recognition software will also be installed so that everyone can be recognised on the streets that is wanted by the police. And in China, it is not difficult to be wanted by the police. There is no shortage of political prisoners in that country. A sad but true fact.

And the city of Shenzhen is just the pilot project of the Chinese government. So, in the future there will be more to come.

This is far beyond 1984 by George Orwell. Modern day technology can be both a blessing and a curse. It gives us more freedom. We can debate topics and make friends on-line with people that are half way across the globe. But with al that freedom, we must never forget how easy it can disappear. Science can be used for bad. We can lose our autonomy and freedom because of the same technological marvels that I am using to communicate to you…the reader of this article.

What is possible in China, is possible anywhere when the circumstances are right.

For those of you who have never read 1984



August 14, 2007 Posted by | China, internet, Privacy | Leave a comment