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Inside China’s Nightmarish Spying State With Cameras Checking Emotions and Phone Data As Winter Olympic Athletes Warn

CHINA has developed a shocking surveillance system that tracks people’s every move – with athletes landing in Beijing for the Winter Olympics even being warned to watch their backs.

With its streets full of cameras and super high-tech systems, the Communist regime has been accused of running “an Orwellian surveillance state” that “touches every part of life” and “endangers privacy.” “.

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“Invasive” and cutting-edge digital technologies have become a central part of the Chinese state – with citizens both online and offline under constant surveillance as the government tightens controls.

And while the world’s eyes are on China as the Winter Olympics get underway, there are concerns that athletes landing in Beijing will also receive unwanted glances.

Security expert Will Geddes, founder of Business Defense International, told Sun Online that China’s Big Brother-like surveillance is a “big concern” for competitors. .

“Inevitably, when you go abroad to somewhere like China, as soon as you get off the plane, your phone will be blocked,” he said.

“If I take any customers to China, I generally send them with a phone with a burner, so it’s going to be a phone that’s going to be disinfected.

“It won’t have all their precious lives and secrets on it. When we remember that we have whereabouts on our phones these days – we have all our email, social media, text messages. , notes, email – our entire lives are encapsulated in this compact device that we keep in our pocket.

“You think you’re connecting to the local network, but the moment you do, you’re actually connecting through this man in the middle – which will then start collecting all your data. All All your chats and communications will be monitored.”

Athletes have been urged to leave their personal phones at home and use recorders instead as the state can use advanced technology to track calls and texts while anxiously following track their movements.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz told Sun Online: “The Chinese Communist Party runs an Orwellian surveillance state that touches every part of life inside China.

“There’s no doubt they will leverage their infrastructure to jeopardize the privacy of our athletes.

“We should take the potential threat to our athletes seriously and take every precaution possible to ensure their safety and privacy.”

The FBI has warned athletes’ phones could be at the center of cyber attacks over fears their devices could be hacked through an app developed for the Olympics called My2022 – Apps that all attendees are required to download.

“The FBI urges all athletes to leave their personal cell phones at home and use them temporarily during competition,” the agency said in a statement.

“National Olympic Committees in several Western countries are also advising their athletes to leave their personal devices at home or use their phones temporarily due to cybersecurity concerns at the Games.”

The agency has asked athletes to remain “vigilant” – citing “malicious cyber activities” as possible reasons behind their warnings.

According to Toronto’s Citizen Lab – where researchers analyzed the app – it contains security flaws that make it vulnerable to hacking and privacy violations, with safeguards designed to ensure data is protected. keeping between trusted devices doesn’t work.

Meanwhile, some 200 million cameras were placed along streets in both cities and villages – operating at about one in seven citizens – as the state did not prohibit China from developing identification software. Faces “read” people’s emotions, determining whether they might be a threat to the state.

The Chinese Communist Party runs an Orwellian surveillance state that touches every part of life inside China

Ted Cruz

Mr. Geddes said that facial recognition and AI technology will be at the heart of future developments in the regime to closely track anyone who sets foot in the country.

“One of the things that China has done very quickly, the pre-Covid-19 effects because Asia is used to people walking around with masks, is to adjust facial recognition so that it can detect your face. people though maybe half of their face is hidden,” he added.

“That means they can basically follow you, they can play an important role in your life in terms of movements and activities.

“People complain about invasion of privacy here in the UK – but nowhere quite close to China.”

The regime’s nightmare schemes also involve using artificial intelligence to calculate a person’s “social score”, which in turn determines benefits or punishments.

The absolute level of surveillance has been installed and is being developed beyond the alien vision created by author George Orwell in his 1984 book, where the eyes of the state – Big Brother – are always following you.

But now it’s becoming easy with 21st-century espionage technology – with dire consequences for anyone the party says has broken its rules, with some being sent into “houses”. black prison” hell.

Alkan Akad, China researcher at Amnesty International, told Sun Online: “Activists, human rights defenders and government critics in China are monitored and harassed. systematic intimidation, arrest and detention.

“Police detain an increasing number of human rights defenders outside of formal detention facilities, sometimes without access to lawyers for extended periods of time.

“In recent years, Chinese authorities have increasingly used ‘residential surveillance at a designated location’ to detain dissidents.”

Human rights groups have criticized the state for threatening privacy and freedom of expression by closely monitoring such small movements.

Amnesty’s Mr Akad added: “Mass surveillance projects like ‘Skynet’ and ‘Sharp Eyes’ are deployed to keep people on the lookout all over China.

“Beijing’s public security agencies are key players in the development of this unprecedented expansion of surveillance. Biometric surveillance is common in the western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. northwest China.

“Biometric surveillance tools, including facial recognition software, are among the most invasive of digital surveillance technologies that enable governments to identify and track individuals in the public space.” Add or remove them based on their physiological or behavioral characteristics.

“These technologies clearly threaten the rights of privacy, freedom of assembly, speech, religion, and non-discrimination.”

Surveillance cameras outside the Media Center in Beijing during the Winter Olympics

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Surveillance cameras outside the Media Center in Beijing during the Winter OlympicsCredit: Getty
A facial recognition system is demonstrated on screen during CES Asia Expo in Shanghai

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A facial recognition system is demonstrated on screen during CES Asia Expo in ShanghaiCredit: Getty
There are about 200 million cameras on the streets of China

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There are about 200 million cameras on the streets of ChinaCredit: Alamy
A resident scans his face to pass through the ticket gates of a subway station in Fuzhou, Fujian province, China.

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A resident scans his face to pass through the ticket gates of a subway station in Fuzhou, Fujian province, China.Credit: Getty

Former diplomat Roger Garside says human rights are “deeply disregarded” by the regime – with anyone who sets foot in the country being monitored.

“Travelers to China are also tracked,” he told Sun Online.

“Human rights are deeply disregarded by the regime. This is a totalitarian regime, not a dictatorship – the difference is important.

“A totalitarian regime is one that asserts the right to exercise authority over all spheres of life – public and private – and it does so to the extent possible.

“Any right exercised, be it in business, culture or any other area of ​​life is loaned to the people – they have no inherent rights over them.”

Mr. Garside – who was previously Professor of China Studies at the US Naval Postgraduate School – said that China is “the most technically advanced totalitarian state the world has ever seen” with ” very widespread censorship”.

He added: “The regime has equipped itself with high-tech means of surveillance and aims to gain control of the entire population with facial recognition technology, monitoring of telephone conversations, the Internet. social and digital communications of all kinds”.

“It’s very advanced in the development and adoption of these systems.”

And it is said that people living in China “convince themselves to be content” with their lives despite draconian measures restricting their freedoms out of fear of the state.

“What I’ve been told to people who grew up in mainland China and have relatives still living there is that although people may prefer to live in a free country, they know they don’t live in a free country. Free nations and many of them have adjusted to that reality and convinced themselves that they should be content with what they have,” said Mr. Garside.

“They convince themselves that they are content with a lot of their things. I don’t believe this number represents a profound loyalty to the regime – it certainly does not equal human happiness.

“I visited China for 30 days in 2017, holding meetings with 58 people, and I was struck by the sense of uncertainty about their own identity that everyone I met had.

“And I contrast that with the Chinese people from Taiwan that I meet. I see people from Taiwan as extroverts, they have a good and comfortable sense of their own identity.

“But in China, I find people very, very uncertain.”

The main points of the facial recognition system are shown here

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The main points of the facial recognition system are shown hereCredit: Getty
Surveillance cameras are seen in front of the portrait of late Chinese president Mao Zedong on the Tienanmen Gate

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Surveillance cameras are seen in front of the portrait of late Chinese president Mao Zedong on the Tienanmen GateCredit: Reuters

https://www.the-sun.com/news/4621131/china-spy-state-winter-olympics/ Inside China’s Nightmarish Spying State With Cameras Checking Emotions and Phone Data As Winter Olympic Athletes Warn

DevanCole

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