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posted by janrinok on Friday December 17 2021, @04:42PM   Printer-friendly
from the here's-looking-at-YOU dept.

U.S. Cracks Down on Firms Said to Aid China's Repression of Minorities

The Biden administration said on Thursday that it would put limits on doing business with a group of Chinese companies and institutions it says are involved in misusing biotechnology to surveil and repress Muslim minorities in China and advancing Beijing's military programs.

In announcing one set of the moves, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said China was employing biotechnology and medical innovation "to pursue control over its people and its repression of members of ethnic and religious minority groups."

The administration said those efforts included the use of biometric facial recognition and large-scale genetic testing of residents 12 to 65 in the mostly Muslim region of Xinjiang.

China has used such technology to track and control the Uyghurs, a predominately Muslim ethnic group.

[...] In its announcement on Thursday, the Biden administration said Beijing was using advances in biotechnology to drive forward its military modernization. A senior administration official called out China's work to edit human genes for performance enhancement and create ways for human brains to connect more directly to machines.

Also caught in the crosshairs is the drone company DJI, for providing drones used by the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau to surveil Uyghurs, Megvii, which makes artificial intelligence and facial recognition software, and Dawning Information Industry (also known as Sugon), a manufacturer of supercomputers and provider of cloud-computing services.

See also: Disney under fire for 'Mulan' credits that thank Chinese groups linked to detention camps

Previously: Massive DNA Collection Campaign in Xinjiang, China
Massive DNA Collection Campaign Continues in Xinjiang, China
China Installs Surveillance App on Smartphones of Visitors to Xinjiang Region
DNA Databases in the U.S. and China are Tools of Racial Oppression
The Panopticon is Already Here: China's Use of "Artificial Intelligence"


Original Submission

Related Stories

Massive DNA Collection Campaign in Xinjiang, China 21 comments

Chinese police are amassing a huge amount of genetic information in Xinjiang:

Police in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, China, have been collecting DNA samples from citizens and are now ramping up their capacity to analyse that genetic cache, according to evidence compiled by activists and details gathered by Nature. The advocacy group Human Rights Watch reported last month that Xinjiang authorities intend to accelerate efforts to gather blood samples from the region's large population of Muslim Uighur people. China's government has cracked down on Xinjiang's separatist movement in recent years, so the prospect of a DNA database there has stoked fears that authorities could use it as a political weapon.

[...] In its report, the organization said that Xinjiang's police had ordered 12 DNA sequencers. Nature has confirmed the order and learned, from documents and interviews with those involved in the transaction, that the police have purchased enough machines to process up to 2,000 DNA samples per day. The police department hung up when Nature rang to ask about the reason for the purchase.

[...] Many countries use DNA fingerprinting to solve crimes, reunite kidnapped children with their parents and identify bodies, and some researchers say that the boost in Xinjiang's DNA-analysis capacity does not, by itself, stand out. "Expansion of police surveillance is expected by any civilized nation," says Sara Katsanis, who researches the applications of genetic testing at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Still, Katsanis and others worry about how DNA is being collected in China and especially in Xinjiang. Last year, Human Rights Watch reported that citizens in Xinjiang were required to give a blood sample to get a passport. And in March, Chinese state media detailed the conclusion of a 4-month programme during which 17.5 million people — who were predominantly Uighurs — were given health checks, including blood tests. Last week, reports emerged that many of the people who underwent these examinations had been forced to do so.

Previously:
China Bans Islam-Related Names in Xinjiang


Original Submission

Massive DNA Collection Campaign Continues in Xinjiang, China 33 comments

Human Rights Watch has issued a report about DNA collection in Xinjiang province in China:

Chinese police have started gathering blood types, DNA samples, fingerprints and iris scans from millions of people in its Muslim-majority Xinjiang province to build a massive citizen database, according to report by activist group Human Rights Watch.

The report, published Wednesday, said officials are collecting the data from citizens between the ages of 12 and 65 years old using a variety of methods. Authorities are gathering DNA and blood types through free medical checkups, and HRW said it was unclear if patients were aware that their biometric data was being collected for the police during these physical exams.

According to the report, citizens authorities have flagged as a potential threat to the regime, and their families—named "focus personnel"—are forced to hand over their DNA regardless of age.

So far, 18.8 million citizens have participated in the medical checkups, called "Physicals for All" by the government, according to an article by a state news agency Xinhua on November 1.

Previously: Massive DNA Collection Campaign in Xinjiang, China


Original Submission

China Installs Surveillance App on Smartphones of Visitors to Xinjiang Region 19 comments

China Snares Tourists' Phones in Surveillance Dragnet by Adding Secret App

China has turned its western region of Xinjiang into a police state with few modern parallels, employing a combination of high-tech surveillance and enormous manpower to monitor and subdue the area's predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities. Now, the digital dragnet is expanding beyond Xinjiang's residents, ensnaring tourists, traders and other visitors — and digging deep into their smartphones.

A team of journalists from The New York Times and other publications examined a policing app used in the region, getting a rare look inside the intrusive technologies that China is deploying in the name of quelling Islamic radicalism and strengthening Communist Party rule in its Far West. The use of the app has not been previously reported.

China's border authorities routinely install the app on smartphones belonging to travelers who enter Xinjiang by land from Central Asia, according to several people interviewed by the journalists who crossed the border recently and requested anonymity to avoid government retaliation. Chinese officials also installed the app on the phone of one of the journalists during a recent border crossing. Visitors were required to turn over their devices to be allowed into Xinjiang. The app gathers personal data from phones, including text messages and contacts. It also checks whether devices are carrying pictures, videos, documents and audio files that match any of more than 73,000 items included on a list stored within the app's code.

Politics: DNA Databases in the U.S. and China are Tools of Racial Oppression 166 comments

DNA Databases in the U.S. and China Are Tools of Racial Oppression

Two major world powers, the United States and China, have both collected an enormous number of DNA samples from their citizens, the premise being that these samples will help solve crimes that might have otherwise gone unsolved. While DNA evidence can often be crucial when it comes to determining who committed a crime, researchers argue these DNA databases also pose a major threat to human rights.

In the U.S., the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a DNA database called the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) that currently contains over 14 million DNA profiles. This database has a disproportionately high number of profiles of black men, because black Americans are arrested five times as much as white Americans. You don't even have to be convicted of a crime for law enforcement to take and store your DNA; you simply have to have been arrested as a suspect.

[...] As for China, a report that was published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in mid-June claims that China is operating the "world's largest police-run DNA database" as part of its powerful surveillance state. Chinese authorities have collected DNA samples from possibly as many as 70 million men since 2017, and the total database is believed to contain as many as 140 million profiles. The country hopes to collect DNA from all of its male citizens, as it argues men are most likely to commit crimes.

DNA is reportedly often collected during what are represented as free physicals, and it's also being collected from children at schools. There are reports of Chinese citizens being threatened with punishment by government officials if they refuse to give a DNA sample. Much of the DNA that's been collected has been from Uighur Muslims that have been oppressed by the Chinese government and infamously forced into concentration camps in the Xinjiang province.

Related:


Original Submission

The Panopticon is Already Here: China's Use of "Artificial Intelligence" 89 comments

The Panopticon Is Already Here (archive)

Xi Jinping is using artificial intelligence to enhance his government's totalitarian control—and he's exporting this technology to regimes around the globe.

[...] Xi has said that he wants China, by year's end, to be competitive with the world's AI leaders, a benchmark the country has arguably already reached. And he wants China to achieve AI supremacy by 2030.

Xi's pronouncements on AI have a sinister edge. Artificial intelligence has applications in nearly every human domain, from the instant translation of spoken language to early viral-outbreak detection. But Xi also wants to use AI's awesome analytical powers to push China to the cutting edge of surveillance. He wants to build an all-seeing digital system of social control, patrolled by precog algorithms that identify potential dissenters in real time.

[...] China already has hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras in place. Xi's government hopes to soon achieve full video coverage of key public areas. Much of the footage collected by China's cameras is parsed by algorithms for security threats of one kind or another. In the near future, every person who enters a public space could be identified, instantly, by AI matching them to an ocean of personal data, including their every text communication, and their body's one-of-a-kind protein-construction schema. In time, algorithms will be able to string together data points from a broad range of sources—travel records, friends and associates, reading habits, purchases—to predict political resistance before it happens. China's government could soon achieve an unprecedented political stranglehold on more than 1 billion people.

Early in the coronavirus outbreak, China's citizens were subjected to a form of risk scoring. An algorithm assigned people a color code—green, yellow, or red—that determined their ability to take transit or enter buildings in China's megacities. In a sophisticated digital system of social control, codes like these could be used to score a person's perceived political pliancy as well.

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by https on Friday December 17 2021, @05:13PM (13 children)

    by https (5248) on Friday December 17 2021, @05:13PM (#1205843) Journal

    I guess a pot really would know what colour a kettle is.

    --
    Offended and laughing about it.
    • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @05:29PM (12 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @05:29PM (#1205851)

      Does the pot have an ongoing genocide like the kettle? No? K then.

      • (Score: 2) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Friday December 17 2021, @05:58PM (4 children)

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Friday December 17 2021, @05:58PM (#1205859)

        Well it's gotten a bit better since the civil rights movement.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @06:18PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @06:18PM (#1205868)

          Tell that to the Mexicans being bullwhipped at the border.

          • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @06:39PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @06:39PM (#1205883)

            All invaders should be fire bombed or shot, after a friendly warning to go away, Mestizo and pure Mongoloid wetbacks included. Now the Jews and their race-traitor Shabbos Goy are bringing in murderous, retarded niggers from Haiti.

            • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @09:54PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @09:54PM (#1205940)

              Come on, there's a few more offensive terms you could've crammed in there. You didn't even say anything about Chinamen and faggots!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 18 2021, @12:36AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 18 2021, @12:36AM (#1206013)

            Those aren't Mexicans.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @06:47PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @06:47PM (#1205886)

        No, silly. We outsource that now. The Saudis and Israelis do great work!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 18 2021, @12:06AM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 18 2021, @12:06AM (#1205996)

        Here's the thing. First world countries rose to dominance basically by being nasty and doing nasty things. Think subjugation of native people, slavery, wars, extinction of animals, wrecking the planet, etc. Nasty! But now third world countries can't get ahead in the same easy ways? China is just newly developed and still developing. Can't tell them, or any other country, the "right" way to develop because I don't think we actually took it. How do you solve this problem?

        • (Score: 2, Touché) by khallow on Saturday December 18 2021, @03:28AM (4 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 18 2021, @03:28AM (#1206054) Journal

          Can't tell them, or any other country, the "right" way to develop because I don't think we actually took it. How do you solve this problem?

          What does oppressing the Uyghurs have to do with development? To the contrary, not oppressing them would be development. The question is based on false premises. Sure, there are a few ugly economic things that need to happen between points A and B (such as low pay, sweat shops, etc), but most ugly things hinder not help.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 18 2021, @04:32AM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 18 2021, @04:32AM (#1206065)

            Wrong. Slavery is what the south states used for economic development. Bombing sandy countries for oil ^H freedom is for economic development. Both are examples of oppression used for development reasons. It was/is the wrong path for us on the road to development and it's wrong for China but it's an easy path.

            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Saturday December 18 2021, @05:51AM (2 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 18 2021, @05:51AM (#1206075) Journal

              Slavery is what the south states used for economic development.

              And they lost a big war as a result.

              Bombing sandy countries for oil ^H freedom is for economic development.

              And I imagine the Uyghurs have resources to justify the level of oppression they're receiving?

              It was/is the wrong path for us on the road to development and it's wrong for China but it's an easy path.

              In other words, it's the wrong path.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 18 2021, @09:00AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 18 2021, @09:00AM (#1206107)

                And I imagine the Uyghurs have resources to justify the level of oppression they're receiving?

                Certainly do.
                They sell a lot of organs to rich Israelis. One doctor wrote an article about how shocked he was that his patients were being scheduled weeks in advance for heart transplants in China. You can't do that unless you kill the "donors" on demand, hearts only last a day or two.

                • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Sunday December 19 2021, @04:21PM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 19 2021, @04:21PM (#1206375) Journal

                  They sell a lot of organs to rich Israelis.

                  I was asking about resources important enough. Even if every rich Israeli got a new heart every year, you're not coming close. There just aren't that many of them. Even with the much larger Chinese market, that somehow you forgot about, you're still looking at best at a value add (from the oppressors point of view, not mine).

                  My take is that the real driver is ideology. Communism is out, but we still have most of the elements of fascism. And well, they don't like rival ideologies, like religion.

  • (Score: 5, Touché) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Friday December 17 2021, @05:56PM (2 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Friday December 17 2021, @05:56PM (#1205858)

    but really, whenever the US imposes sanctions - either with international consensus or without - Matthew 7:3 [wikipedia.org] comes to mind.

    If the US wasn't the most powerful bully on the world stage, it would have been internationally sanctioned for a variety of things for decades by a lot of other countries.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @06:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @06:16PM (#1205865)
      I'll take it. If we sanction China for it, I can rail about it at home.
    • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @06:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @06:17PM (#1205866)

      Also, I am Anonymous Coward, clearly the most powerful bully on the world stage.

      Ph34r m3.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @07:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @07:11PM (#1205899)

    Meanwhile in other news US drone manufacturers were severely sanctioned for providing drones to the US military that were used to kill thousands of civilians in weddings, funerals, etc. After all actually killing civilians is worse than monitoring them.

    From News That Never Happened...

  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Friday December 17 2021, @07:24PM

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday December 17 2021, @07:24PM (#1205902) Journal

    Um... yeah... sure... whatever... business is business

    --
    La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 17 2021, @09:39PM (5 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 17 2021, @09:39PM (#1205936)

    My Senator loves to take credit for everybody else's work - this was the top item on his newsletter today:

    This Week in the Office of Senator Marco Rubio
    On Thursday, I spoke on the Senate floor ahead of the Senate’s passage of my Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act . The bill, which I first introduced with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and James McGovern (D-MA) in 2020, will ensure that goods made with slave labor from Uyghurs and others in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) do not enter the U.S. market. The legislation now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Read more here and watch the video here.

    --
    Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
    • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Friday December 17 2021, @10:11PM (4 children)

      by krishnoid (1156) on Friday December 17 2021, @10:11PM (#1205944)

      A prominent public figure that takes a public, unequivocal (for some definition of "slave labor") stand on a major foreign power's human rights issue, where that "credit" could easily come back to bite him in future foreign policy/soverignty discussions? That's pretty brave. Or pretty stupid. Or, in the rare case where one word works for both, foolhardy [youtu.be]. Good for him!

      • (Score: 4, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Friday December 17 2021, @10:23PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday December 17 2021, @10:23PM (#1205949)

        He is big on talk short on memory. Ollie North really was the future of American politics.

        --
        Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Saturday December 18 2021, @10:36PM (2 children)

          by tangomargarine (667) on Saturday December 18 2021, @10:36PM (#1206247)

          "What's the news in politics this week, Ollie?"
          "Bad!"
          "Thanks, Ollie! Next, in local sports..."

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday December 19 2021, @05:38AM (1 child)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday December 19 2021, @05:38AM (#1206309)

            You must be new here.

            The answer, the only answer is: "I'm sorry sir, I don't recall."

            --
            Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
            • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Sunday December 19 2021, @06:48AM

              by tangomargarine (667) on Sunday December 19 2021, @06:48AM (#1206316)

              Way to ruin the joke. [youtube.com]

              --
              "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @09:51PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @09:51PM (#1205938)

    The Biden administration said on Thursday that it would put limits on doing business with a group of Chinese companies and institutions it says are involved in misusing biotechnology to surveil and repress Muslim minorities in China

    Human rights violations, sure.

    ...and advancing Beijing's military programs.

    I'm sorry, you're cranky at them for spending on their military?

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @10:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17 2021, @10:06PM (#1205942)

      Perhaps if the US and China would collaborate on defence spending there would be no need for wars, just sayin'.

      Neo-crusades in the middle east aside but even the Republicans have moved on from the Bush era.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Captival on Saturday December 18 2021, @04:17AM (1 child)

    by Captival (6866) on Saturday December 18 2021, @04:17AM (#1206060)

    China: "We're committing genocide and slavery."
    Biden: "No problem."
    China: "And we're using DJI drones to do it."
    Biden: "Can't have that. You're in big trouble DJI."

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 18 2021, @01:34PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 18 2021, @01:34PM (#1206140)

      also can't have them drones monitor a guy called kellogi or sumthing entering a embassy ...

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