During the first three months of 2017, conditions appeared normal and routine as usual in the urban city of “Shenzhen” in the south of the People’s Republic of China, a routine that was interrupted only by the scenes of technicians who place cameras and large screens above traffic lights, and then connect each group of them to a fixed black box On an iron pole on the side of each road. The scene of the screens after their work with the passage of days is no longer disapproving in any way, as they display different pictures addressing people in the streets constantly, but “Gan Leibing”, a Chinese citizen who arrived in the middle of the year himself from the poor rural China of “Shenzhen”She quickly felt curiosity – and possibly fear – about those screens, especially as she sees a continuous display throughout the day of personal information about many passers-by, including their names, jobs and crime records, as soon as they violate any traffic rule, to be led by pure coincidence on one of the November nights of the year The same to test the functionality of these screens in the clearest way possible.
Were not “to Ebenj” in front of a science fiction movie, or play the role of “Winston” with screens monitoring in the play simulates a chapter of the novel “1984” the famous George Orwell, and all it took them is wrong traffic small, when I arrived Bdrajtha crossing the road , as She told the “Wall Street Journal”, she rushed to avoid the end of the transit time, but the red light was a quick confirmation that she had failed to do so, and because this was Leibing’s second violation, the system was already recognizing her face to place her on the road screens, announcing that she was ” The owner of a repeated felony. ” https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ce-uTMpjYh8?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=ar&autohide=2&wmode=transparent
In China, it is absolutely sufficient to commit a traffic violation or two for the violator to be registered as an “aggressor” on one of the Chinese laws, and then to receive a low rating in his work, and his request to board any flight may be rejected due to what is called “untrustworthy”, and later, A person gets a low score in his rating as a “good Chinese citizen,” which in turn means that all of his citizenship privileges diminish. The matter is not only related to simple traffic violations, thanks to the giant face detection and monitoring system that uses artificial intelligence, every citizen can know the points he lost due to buying unhealthy food, for example, or excessive smoking bills, or late payment of bank loans, and bad evaluation in Work, within a system known as the “social credit system”, which is the main pillar of the Communist Party’s plan to control Chinese citizens.
The ruling party has always tightened its grip on the joints of Chinese political and social life, and that grip has kept it for more than half a century in supreme control in a country that ranks as the second global economic giant after the United States, and is ranked 19 for the most dictatorial regimes in the world as well. And based on his exclusive rule next to shadow parties formed to improve his appearance, the successive party leaders worked to instill absolute loyalty to the principles of communism among the people, a loyalty that required the attainment of wide-ranging security measures, including the employment of large numbers of secret police to monitor ideas and individuals’ response to the state’s plans, to The neighborhood of a mass media injection to devote socialist Marxist literature, and ending with the punishment of “traitors” according to the party’s definition of its opponents, measures that were present in their entirety in the new system today, but with an expanded investment of highly developed technology that brought the system to unprecedented levels of control and restriction. (1)
With a vast geographical area, a population approaching 400 million after a billion, a steady development in information technology, and loyalty to the idea of its early founders, the party learned to keep pace with the development wheel, taking from the previous Quartet its incentive to move from the traditional system of control based on punishment to influencing the psychology and behavior of individuals. This is expected to create a unified pattern of self-loyalty that relieves the party’s anxiety about the discipline of the masses. For this reason, the government has adopted the aforementioned social credit system, through which the individual’s balance is calculated from “good” and “bad” actions.According to the party’s standards, relying on a huge database of data fed by the daily reports of informants, and videos flowing from a nationwide surveillance network, the low result puts its owner in front of the penalty of deprivation of some national privileges or some of his rights at a minimum, while giving him an opportunity to correct his behavior. In exchange for restoring its rights over time, a system that was considered an extension of the Leninist principle of moral authority, and it is necessary to talk about it back to the early beginnings of its emergence and development, which were never born today, but go back long decades (2).
“The sky is high, and the Emperor is very far away.”
(An old Chinese proverb)
Over the centuries, any ruler assuming power in “Beijing” would have difficulty knowing the daily events that take place in regions far from the center of his empire, even if he employed many spies and police. Factors such as the vast area of Chinese territory and the huge population were combined to slow the spread of information and its access to it in sufficient time to make quick decisions, and for this, the authorities adopted the organization of families in units of “committees” that took over the application of law in their provinces, and citizens who participated in patrols reported the disturbances, including It can be considered an assignment of a part of power to the people, within a popular monitoring system called ” Baojia “.
But Mao Zedong, the Chinese Communist leader, had always been concerned about these imperial committees and their manifold influence, so anxious that he placed them on his list of goals after the coup he led in 1949 and his founding of the People’s Republic of China as we know it now, and being the leader of the Communist Party, the first thing he did “Mao” was the dismantling of those committees and the abolition of their powers to secure his home front, then over time he revived them in various forms and domesticated them in a multi-level control system based on reports of local residents that the government trusted in their absolute loyalty to communism, and matters continued until China opened up to the capitalist market in the eighties. Under the rule of the Chinese Renaissance myth, “Deng Xiaoping,” which reduced the effectiveness of that system, the majority of the control committees entered the dying stage by the 1990s, under the leadership of “Jiang Zemin”, the leader of the Communist Party at the time, and succeeded “Ping” in the presidency.
“Min” has been known since his party activities in the 1980s as an open socialist, a trait that was present in his politics after he took office in 1993, from his strengthening of the president’s powers at the expense of the military committee, described at the time as “tyranny”, to his plan to lead China to the ranks of the elders and remove it from its isolation Through measures that include supporting productive development, developing Marxism and revolutionary traditions, and giving priority to the people’s decision, in what is known as the “development, culture and priority” trilogy, a plan that required starting from popular rules and interests, and pushed “MAIN” to establish the largest network of reconnaissance and monitoring known in history, whose mission is to explore The opinions of the masses and measuring their satisfaction with the decisions affecting the country’s history.
Taking advantage of the structure of the previous oversight committees, and adding a new police force called “Chenguan” (3) in the early 2000s with giving it powers to implement low-level laws, party members – commissioned by “Min” – began to lead the reconnaissance plans in rotation, and it benefited from citizens’ accounts Banking, purchase bills and partial censorship on social media and the web, the streaming data of tens of thousands of video cameras scattered across one huge database nationwide, and during the period between 2004-2007 China conducted three waves of massive network surveys before deciding. The development of the system and its changing functions to track the opinions of citizens in the government with increasing fears of unrest in conjunction with the economic recession accompanying the global financial crisis. (4)
With the increase in talk about corruption linked to government figures and within state-owned companies, and the traditional shrinking of the central government’s influence over the economically peripheral governorates, leading to the ongoing debate between reformists and conservative communists within the government, activists and opponents wrote on social media and private forums expressing discontent with the government’s performance, Simultaneously, unrest began to invade the countryside as a result of government neglect, accompanied by an increase in the pace of migration towards cities (5), which reached a high ceiling in 2010, announcing for the first time the superiority of cities over the countryside in the census, and at the same time inaugurating an emergency response to the party, by announcing entry into A new phase of poll called “Sharp Eyes”.
And because a nationwide survey necessarily required huge resources, the “eyes of the eye” measures were confined to urban cities. From skyscrapers to park benches, digital teams began coding infrastructures, linking them to administrative blocks with special identifiers, connected to a huge database managed by a single system fed by images and videos coming from tens of millions of cameras installed in public and private facilities, up to the cameras on the drone.
As a result, any party observer could, through his mobile phone screen, follow what was broadcast by security cameras, and thus report any unusual activity or contrary to the list, a project that seemed in its practical part a quote from the famous Communist principle, “The masses have sharp eyes,” and as a reflection of attempts. ” Mao “in making every citizen spy on the other, but the difference is that these principles were applied using much more sophisticated techniques than Mao’s mind imagined more than seven decades ago.” (6)
With the largest software intelligence companies entering the market competing to provide services that track that massive flow of data, government technologies have become increasingly sensitive to language, and more able to determine the source of a specific type of data flow, which means that any research on taboo and controversial topics, The “1989 protests” or the “Celestial Peace Square massacre”, for example (7), will place the website of its owner under the microscope of Chinese cyber security agencies, in addition to blocking the page, and the access of the secret police to it will be a matter of time only.
At the end of the first 2000s, with the number of Internet users exceeding the barrier of half a billion, and a rapid increase in the number of Facebook users reaching the ceiling of 800 million Chinese, and with great difficulty in monitoring the increasing electronic activity of the Chinese, security experts moved to ban Facebook completely in 2009, then followed by a ban of emperors The other digital world such as Twitter, YouTube, Amazon, Instagram and thousands of other websites over time, while only low-privacy applications such as “Webchat” were allowed to continue working, and at the same time, alternative Chinese applications were introduced that could be monitored and tightly controlled. Thus, the features of what can be called “network authoritarianism” or “the great Chinese firewall” (8), as the Chinese government calls it, were formed.
Like its Great Wall that protected the empire from attacks from abroad, China launched its firewall to besiege the “traitors in the interior” who were defined according to the literature of the Communist Party as “anyone who contradicts his vision”, blocking thousands of websites with a huge amount of information, and despite that, according to a report by the New York Times. Most Chinese, including those with higher education, are mostly satisfied with the news and information available to them, although proxy programs allow people to jump on the “firewall” and explore the global Internet; Most Chinese are happy with the world provided by state-licensed broadcasts and publications.
When Xi Jinping assumed the presidency in 2013, under the heading “Anti-Corruption”, one million Chinese found themselves in prison as part of a security crackdown aimed at easing popular frustration against many illegal practices of state-owned companies, a campaign celebrated by a broad base of Chinese At the same time, it was described by critics as a purging of the party’s backyard of potential competitors and the community of intellectuals who disagree with the party’s vision, and a step to bring in a generation more loyal to the top leadership.
In the same period, after the limited violence that resulted from the first experiences of the piercing eyes system two years before Ping took over the presidency, people began to succumb to local government propaganda, and little by little, the Chinese began to associate prosperity and safety on the one hand with a network of cameras tracking their movements On the other hand, the videos broadcast from the security cameras have become continuous and direct broadcast on the Internet material to comment on the activities of passers-by and the style of clothing, while any mention of privacy was absent. (9)
After the recent shifts in the psychology of the Chinese masses, which were reassuring to the system enough, the government moved to more daring levels, as the Chinese Council announced the launch of a “social classification system” (10) in June 2015, to identify citizens who have a negative impact on society. And treatment, while the initial actual direct him was the middle of the following year 2016.
Throughout history, the vision of the early founders of communism to create a unified response to the masses was the ambition of the successive party leaders, and therefore a huge data bank gathered daily, reliable informers, and a huge amount of videos through a wide surveillance network, were factors that aroused the party a more daring idea, as it began to popularize A system of rewards and penalties based on tracking the activity of individuals in various places, and evaluating them within a reference base according to specific criteria, and because China always wants to take the lead in the use of artificial intelligence techniques, the deal was complete, as the new cameras were able to identify individuals in real time. Tec, “compared to their pictures and physical characteristics recorded in the database, which means that everything is ready to produce good individuals according to the party’s standards, which has been described as an investment of artificial intelligence to impose moral authority.
In 2018, with the increasing number of cameras touching the ceiling of 200 million cameras, with expectations to cross the barrier of half a billion cameras after a few years (11), the number of people banned from boarding flights reached about 11 million Chinese, while a few million others could not obtain Bank loans, and there are about 4 million Chinese who cannot buy train tickets, and millions of others are banned from using the Chinese Internet, due to the security agencies’ classification of them as “untrustworthy”, and when they browsed the rejection slips, it was found that they got a low rating in their behavior as citizens Righteous people, while being given an opportunity to regain those rights in exchange for correcting their behavior in accordance with party regulations.
This coincided with the publication of press reports stating that the company, “Watrix”, one of the vendors of artificial intelligence services to China, is in the process of improving recognition techniques for individuals, to include distinguishing them from their way of walking, which will enable them to know them from long distances that may reach tens of meters, in conjunction with Other experiments are taking place in Anhui Province to build a database of sound patterns (12), and by combining the data recorded in the reference base, with tracking techniques across facial features, then the way of walking and the voice pattern, China has almost completely put its hand on the main joints of human nature, It is of the highest level of influence on individuals known to humans.
China is now on a path leading the whole world towards creating a unique guide to control its highest images. The Chinese surveillance system based on facial recognition technology, which entered service in mid-2018 in 16 provinces and cities, and is made up of millions of cameras and billions of lines of code, can theoretically Conducting a comprehensive survey of the entire Chinese population (1.38 billion people) in one second, an astonishing rate by current technological standards.
From Cambridge Analytica and its exciting projects to anticipate behavior and influence public opinion, to China’s laboratories for creating behavior and unifying the pattern of individuals, with the ability to rewrite the past and present across the Great Firewall, penetrate the privacy of individuals through piercing eyes, and even create their behavior and change their thoughts through the discipline system. The constitutional amendment approved in March 2018 (13), which enables Ping to rule the country forever, so that China has completed with him the guide to making the country of the Big Brother to the fullest, a guide that can be summarized in 3 main slogans: “Freedom is slavery.” “Ignorance is power,” and “war is peace,” slogans that guarantee the creation of the “good citizen” that oppressive regimes have long wished for throughout history.