Surveillance in China

China surveils the population is a known fact, but maybe not everyone knows to what extent. More than half of the world’s surveillance cameras are in China, nearly one billion. The data from the cameras can tell someone’s race, gender and whether they are wearing glasses or masks. The police (In Fujian Province) estimated that there were 2.5 billion facial images stored at any given time. The aim is “controlling and managing people”. Devices known as WiFi sniffers and IMSI catchers are used by the police to track the movements of a person of interest. It's a way to connect digital footprint, real-life identity and physical whereabouts. All 31 of mainland China’s provinces and regions use phone trackers, for example to detect an Uyghur-to-Chinese dictionary app on phones in order to surveil the Uyghur ethnic minority. The police in China also use sound recorders, to record people's voices within a 300 foot radius. These are attached to their facial recognition cameras. In 2017 in Xinjiang, the Chinese authorities built a database which can hold iris samples from 30 million people and are now extensively expanding iris-scan and DNA databases. Megvii, one of the largest surveillance contractors in China, created a software that collects data like movement patterns, clothing, vehicle, information about their phone and social connections. This tool is used by the Chinese police.

The Great firewall of China is blocking peoples access to information through ie. url blocking, and VPN blocking. Cryptocurrencies are forbidden and therefore censored. The main reasons behind the firewall is to crack down on political dissent, control the narrative, and prevent people from accessing content that may go against the country's policies.