Chinese authorities are employing a mobile app intended for crowd surveillance. With the help of this app, they can profile, inspect, and detain Muslims in Xinjiang by labeling “fully lawful” behavior as suspicious, according to a Human Rights Watch report this week. Recently, Beijing has witnessed global criticism due to its policies in the northwest area of Xinjiang. In this region, almost one million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are being held in imprisonment camps, as per an experts group cited by the UN.
Previously, Human Rights Watch has highlighted that Xinjiang authorities employ a mass surveillance system named the IJOP (Integrated Joint Operations Platform). With this system, they collect information from numerous sources including Wi-Fi sniffers, facial-recognition cameras, banking records, police checkpoints, and home visits. However, the recent study, named “China’s Algorithms of Repression,” worked with a security firm from Berlin. This partnership was intended to analyze an app linked to the IJOP, showing particular acts targeted by the system.
On a similar note, Ecuador’s intelligence agency came into the news as a report disclosed that it holds access to a huge Chinese-made surveillance system. The New York Times report discovered that this system might be employed to keep watch on citizens. The paper inadvertently found that Senain agents were monitoring video feeds that were installed to assist police fight crime. This discovery occurred following a reporter adjusted what he believed was a dimmer switch only to disclose a hidden window that had earlier been frosted over.
The latest discovery is likely to grow concerns regarding the use of Chinese-made surveillance state equipment globally. The ECU-911 system employed in Ecuador was created in partnership between Huawei and China’s state-backed C.E.I.E.C. The system includes approximately 4,200 cameras that are monitored by about 16 centers with the help of about 3,000 staff members. The system allows the government to track phones. As per The New York Times report, the surveillance system might be soon upgraded with facial-recognition capabilities.