By Marica Micallef
The world is moving towards a totalitarian state where everything and everyone will belong to the state and where everything and everyone will be controlled. In other words, this is communism, and Europe is rushing head-on toward it. How is communism building roots in Europe? You masked for it in 2020.
Pingyi County’s local government began installing tens of thousands of security cameras across urban and rural areas in 2013, totaling more than 28,500 by 2016. According to state media, even the smallest villages had at least six security cameras installed.
In China, this total all-seeing surveillance state has been gaining ground since 2015 while it pursues the “ambitious plan” to make an omnipresent video surveillance network to track where people are and what they are up to.
In 2015, the Chinese government announced that a surveillance program would be implemented throughout China, with a particular emphasis on remote and rural towns. It was known as the “Xueliang Project,” or Sharp Eyes, after a quote from communist China’s former revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, who once said that “the people have sharp eyes” when looking out for neighbors who do not adhere to communist values.
So this project, whose aim is to extend and integrate video surveillance not only from cities to villages but also from roads to residential compounds was rolled out. It aimed to use artificial intelligence, big data, and deep learning to analyze this mountain of video evidence to understand who is doing what, where, and when to track suspects and the people they associate with and even to predict crime. I would rather say to track anyone who does not comply, yet again, they talk of safety and how such surveillance can help to bring crime down and track criminals.
Three tech companies in the cities of Beijing and Chongqing showcased how China plans to make the Communist slogan “the masses have sharp eyes” into a reality. For example, these companies have cameras looking at a road junction, identifying everything that is passing through, like cars, reading their number plates, and classifying pedestrians according to their age, gender, their type of clothing, and hairstyle. Such software analyses crowds, producing a heatmap of where people are massing together. It is also able to track individuals through crowds.
Other cameras are able to pick faces out of the crowd to compare them to a national database of suspects of wanted men and women. The police then look at the matches that are flagged and see whether they think that someone they are looking for, they can swoop in to potentially arrest or question the person that the cameras have identified.
In other kinds of applications, you have cameras that are trained to read facial expressions and what the person is doing to see if that person on whose face it is directed, is showing any signs of tiredness, in jobs where alertness is a necessity like driving. If the score rises above a certain level, then the company which employs the driver is alerted, which in turn gives the driver a call, and tells him to rest.
This is the facial recognition system which is the technology of the future and is already slowly being rolled out in various countries, outside China. Will such a system be used to target ethnic minorities? Will it be used as a way to crack down on dissidents and activists? Will it be used to crack down on anyone who does not comply with the coercion of the authorities?
Will such a system give more power and social control to governments, so neighbours watch neighbours?
Will such a system empower governments to emphasize the persecution of those it maintains as hostile and separatists or those that go against the government’s agenda and refuse to bow down to become slaves to the system because the same system wants you to remain a rat in a cage?