It is the first time the Chinese government has used smartphone tracking and facial recognition to track protesters and identify their homes, with large-scale surveillance aimed at middle-class people in wealthy cities.
New York that Chinese citizens who protested against strict new coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) are being accurately tracked by the powerful surveillance tools that the Chinese government has built over the past decade・Reported by The Times. The New York Times explains what tools the government uses and how they track people.
How China's Police Used Phones and Faces to Track Protesters - The New York Times
Chinese police have installed millions of cameras on street corners and building entrances and deployed powerful facial recognition software to track people. One of the software adopted by the government, 'Face++', identifies gender, hairstyle, clothes, car type, etc. as follows, and police authorities can identify individuals based on this information.
personal tracking system by face recognition, a system that tracks individual mobile phones from base stations is also deployed, and even if the face is hidden, tracking may not be avoided. Mr. Zhang, who actually participated in the COVID-19 demonstration, was found by the police without disguise.
by Gilles Sabrié
In addition to the
Mr. Zhang, who participated in a demonstration against infectious diseases wearing a balaclava and goggles, said that he was about to be followed by a plainclothes police officer on the way. Mr. Zhang, who hid in a bush and changed his jacket and escaped without difficulty, said that the next day he received a call from the police saying, 'A smartphone was detected at the demonstration site.' After being questioned directly by police, Mr. Zhang told the New York Times that he was released after being warned 'not to participate in protests again.'
Cases like Mr. Zhang's have been told by many people who participated in similar demonstrations, and they said they received similar warnings to Mr. Zhang. He also said that the contents of smartphones were seen, and many people confirmed the existence of apps such as 'Telegram' and 'Signal' that were used to distribute information about protests and spread images overseas. that's right. Confused about how they were tracked down, protesters are reportedly shunning and deleting the app, fearing further tracking.
The construction of surveillance systems is a well-known fact both inside and outside China, but there is a domestic perception that these are used to track dissidents, ethnic minorities, and migrant workers. Many people support this system based on the idea that if you don't have it, you have nothing to hide. But it is the first time a middle class in China's wealthiest city like Mr. Zhang has been put under scrutiny head-on, he said, raising fears among the public. The New York Times analyzes that the shock of identifying identities is great for many demonstrators, and that alone functions as a government intimidation tactic.
The New York Times wrote, 'The march is the most widespread and public political protest since the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. Now Chinese authorities are using high-tech to target and detain organizers and dissatisfied individuals.' can contain anxiety, and adherents and onlookers will be severely threatened and withdrawn from the movement.'
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