Monday, June 02, 2008

Coming soon to your neighborhood

This is how this Golden Shield will work: Chinese citizens will be watched around the clock through networked CCTV cameras and remote monitoring of computers. They will be listened to on their phone calls, monitored by digital voice-recognition technologies. Their Internet access will be aggressively limited through the country's notorious system of online controls known as the "Great Firewall." Their movements will be tracked through national ID cards with scannable computer chips and photos that are instantly uploaded to police databases and linked to their holder's personal data. This is the most important element of all: linking all these tools together in a massive, searchable database of names, photos, residency information, work history and biometric data. When Golden Shield is finished, there will be a photo in those databases for every person in China: 1.3 billion faces.

And China's partners in this experiment? IBM, Honeywell and General Electric. Screw the free market. As this article says, 'the most efficient delivery system for capitalism is actually a communist-style police state, fortressed with American "homeland security" technologies, pumped up with "war on terror" rhetoric.'

(The article makes a category mistake though. It equates capitalism with the free market. Communists are capitalists. It's just that capitalism there is through the State, whereas in free markets, capitalism is through individuals.)

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