"2084" -Is China Building the Next-Generation Police State?
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May 20, 2008

"2084" -Is China Building the Next-Generation Police State?

inchinadesign Thirty years ago the new Chinese city of Shenzhen did not exist. Today, with the help of U.S. defense contractors, the booming city is a model for a high-tech police state 2.0. And, according to some authorities, it's ready for export.

Shenzhen2_2 In fact, China's massive new surveillance infrastructure efforts leads one to wonder if the recent press surrounding a suspected Beijing Olympic terror plot wasn't a ruse to pre-empt and head off potential world opinion and criticism. China reported that it had uncovered terror plot to kidnap athletes at Beijing Olympic Games. 35 people were arrested for plotting to kidnap athletes, journalists, other visitors. "Violent terror gang" based in Xinjiang region behind plot, Ministry of Public Security Spokesman Wu Heping told a news conference.

Rem Koolhaas, Prada's favorite architect, is building a stock exchange in Shenzhen that looks like it floats — a design intended, he says, to "suggest and illustrate the process of the market." The Koolhaas design captures the dynamic boom and energy of this new economic engine driving the growth of post-Mao capitalistic China. A China epitomized by Shenzhen's transition from an agrarian backwater to megacity in 30 years that represents "a new and potent hybrid of the most powerful political tools of authoritarian communism — central planning, merciless repression, constant surveillance — harnessed to advance the goals of global capitalism, or as it's sometimes called "market Stalinism."

Today, Shenzhen situated on the Pearl River Delta, is a city of 12.4 million people and now houses roughly 100,000 factories. As Naomi Klein writes in her brilliant first-person memoir in the current issue of Rolling Stone, "there is a good chance that at least half of everything you own was made here: iPods, laptops, sneakers, flatscreen TVs, cellphones, jeans, maybe your desk chair, possibly your car and almost certainly your printer. Hundreds of luxury condominiums tower over the city; many are more than 40 stories high, topped with three-story penthouses. Newer neighborhoods like Keji Yuan are packed with ostentatiously modern corporate campuses and decadent shopping malls."

As China prepares to showcase its economic advances during the upcoming in Beijing, Shenzhen, Klein continues, "is once again serving as a laboratory, a testing ground for the next phase of a vast social experiment. Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city. Many are in public spaces, disguised as lampposts. The closed-circuit TV cameras will soon be connected to a single, nationwide network, an all-seeing system that will be capable of tracking and identifying anyone who comes within its range — a project driven in part by U.S. technology and investment. Over the next three years, Chinese security executives predict they will install as many as 2 million CCTVs in Shenzhen, which would make it the most watched city in the world."

Security cameras are part of a much broader high-tech surveillance and censorship program known as the "Golden Shield" adopting the latest people-tracking technology — generously supplied with the latest American "homeland security" technologies from giants like IBM, Honeywell and General Electric — to create Klein observes: an "airtight consumer cocoon: a place where Visa cards, Adidas sneakers, China Mobile cellphones, McDonald's Happy Meals, Tsingtao beer and UPS delivery (to name just a few of the official sponsors of the Beijing ) can be enjoyed under the unblinking eye of the state, without the threat of democracy breaking out."

In Shenzhen one night, Klein has dinner with a U.S. business consultant named Stephen Herrington. Before he started lecturing at Chinese business schools, Klein writes Herrington taught students concepts like brand management. Herrington was a military-intelligence officer, ascending to the rank of lieutenant colonel. What he is seeing in the Pearl River Delta, Klein relates, "is scaring the hell out of him — and not for what it means to China."

"I can guarantee you that there are people in the Bush administration who are studying the use of surveillance technologies being developed here and have at least skeletal plans to implement them at home," he says. "We can already see it in New York with CCTV cameras. Once you have the cameras in place, you have the infrastructure for a powerful tracking system. I'm worried about what this will mean if the U.S. government goes totalitarian and starts employing these technologies more than they are already. I'm worried about the threat this poses to American democracy."

Herrington pauses. "George W. Bush," he adds, "would do what they are doing here in a heartbeat if he could."

A few months earlier, in Davos, Switzerland, Klein reports  that the CEO of China Mobile bragged to a crowd of communications executives that "we not only know who you are, we also know where you are." Asked about customer privacy, he replied that his company only gives "this kind of data to government authorities."

Posted by Casey Kazan.

Naomi Klein Rolling Stone Article


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Comments

wow.. never thought about this before, very interesting

My town (Folkestone) in Kent in England is plastered with cctv camera's .. not only do we have them at the beach and town center but over the past 3 years they have placed them everywhere, even right on the edge of town where its nothing but houseing estates, there all on lamposts and move an watch you as you go buy

Scary stuff, but I don't think you can blame the American companies for selling cameras (and surveillance infrastructure) - which you seem to be doing.

If the American public disagrees with China's policies, then they should have the American government step in and do something (I'm not advocating this)- don't make businesses do the the governments job.

Also- I the dark side of ubiquitous technology is always a lack of privacy. I can find out more about you on Google for free now than a private investigator could find 10 years ago.

And as far as cameras- they are going to be there one way or another- cell-phones, private surveillance cameras, etc. All of which the government could subpoena even if they don't have their own network of cameras.

The only real solution is to keep the government as small as possible, so there isn't enough free manpower to bother spying on small-fry like us, and there only remains enough for spying on those who are presumably worth spying on.

i see no difference between China and USA in Irak.

First, fix your grammar.

It's up to the people of China to fix their government, not up to our businesses. People forget that we are only about 25% of the world economy, and between the other East Asian countries, Europe, Russia and Israel there are plenty of countries with the resources to step in and participate. Better our technology than someone else's.

If there is going to be any change, it'll have to be because people growing up in China now join the PLA and end up becoming senior officers disloyal to the Communists. With the Christianization of China, it's likely that in the next 20 years the Chinese Communists will realize for their own sake that they need to liberalize because a significant portion of their armed forces, as was the case in the Roman Empire, are now members of a religion that is persecuted by the state (and that's a great way to make your army rebel).

You are a naive fool to think that the advent of Christianity in China will be enough to displace the "nation's" pride in 2,000+ years of Chinese history. Not to mention all of the non-Han minorities that live in China (Uighurs, Jewish minorities, etc.). Those people will not be too quick to throw their interests into the outstretched hands of a bearded white man who won't stay dead (in many ways).

But the advent of Falun Gong may indeed be enough to do such a thing.

One of the primary uses of this surveillance system is to track (hunt) followers of Falun Gong, a spiritual group that was outlawed 1999 in China.

Falun Gong had a strong following pre-99 with the Chinese government estimating that 70 million people were practicing it, a number of whom were high ranking cadres, family of Politburo Standing Committee members, members of the military, police and a range of other professions.

The persecution of these people has been quite severe and has led many people to no longer blindly follow the regime and it's propaganda. I wouldn't be suprised at all, given the persecutions severity and it's evilness, that a huge number of people will rise up against the Chinese regime in the near future.

In fact, 36 million people have already quit the Chinese Communist Party as reported by The Epoch Times. I think this is the beginning of the end for the Chinese regime.

see more about Falun Gong's persecution here:
http://organharvestinvestigation.net

Epoch Times here
http://en.epochtimes.com

If you think that Goverment should be in charge then its no wonder that the destruction comming to the usa
will be by there own debt base counterfit dollars. You people best wake up fast i find it hard to fathom that you know nothing of your goverment. What a shame to watch a ounce great country fall so hard that it's
people were blind to the corruption. The Americans goverment are truly the next Hitler regime in the world. Prepare for the war on your mind.

If you want to find out about Western government cor-
ruptions, go to: http://www.worldreports.org/news
................................

Then, if you have the time to read & research about
planet earth & humanity, go here:
http://www.canng.com/articles/programming_wars.html

to find out we live on a prison planet of virtual reality
.......................................

Then, to find your way out of this nightmare, you can
learn to do it your very own way by reversing:
http://www.evpreversespeaking.com
........................................
Now you have a clear picture of reality, which took me
10 years of fulltime research to find the TRUTH.
.......................................
Remember, they (Hollywood) laughed in our face:
"You can't take the TRUTH !" (Such ARROGANCE !!!)


If you want to find out about Western government cor-
ruptions, go to: http://www.worldreports.org/news
................................

Then, if you have the time to read & research about
planet earth & humanity, go here:
http://www.canng.com/articles/programming_wars.html

to find out we live on a prison planet of virtual reality
.......................................

Then, to find your way out of this nightmare, you can
learn to do it your very own way by reversing:
http://www.evpreversespeaking.com
........................................
Now you have a clear picture of reality, which took me
10 years of fulltime research to find the TRUTH.
.......................................
Remember, they (Hollywood) laughed in our face:
"You can't take the TRUTH !" (Such ARROGANCE !!!)


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» Bringing the panopticon to society as a whole from Code Monkey Ramblings
How China may end up perfecting the sort of surveillance state the British have been working on: As China prepares to showcase its economic advances during the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, Shenzhen, Klein continues, "is once again serving as a... [Read More]

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