The Great Firewall of China

“With millions of cameras and billions of lines of code, China is building a high-tech authoritarian future. Beijing is embracing technologies like facial recognition and artificial intelligence to identify and track 1.4 billion people. It wants to assemble a vast and unprecedented national surveillance system, with crucial help from its thriving technology industry.” In the NYT, Paul Mozur takes you Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras. This use of technology (which is certain to spread beyond China) “is reversing the commonly held vision of technology as a great democratizer, bringing people more freedom and connecting them to the world.” In retrospect, the near-universal belief in the democratizing power of tech might have been our worst prediction ever. And I’m including the time Steve Ballmer insisted: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.”

+ “China is using its huge digital surveillance system, and the threat of sending family members to reeducation camps, to pressure minorities to spy on their fellow exiles.” Buzzfeed: Spy For Us — Or Never Speak To Your Family Again.

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