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6 Chinese Spy Programs That Are Worse Than ‘Big Brother’ in Orwell’s ‘1984’
In his 1949 book, “1984,” George Orwell warned of a dystopian future where the authoritarian “Big Brother” regime monitors its citizens through television-like “telescreens,” and has created elaborate systems for social control.
Today, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has far surpassed the oppressive regime in Orwell’s vision, and here are six spy programs they’ve used to do it.
1) “Big Intelligence”
The Chinese regime is spying on every one of its citizens, including top leaders of the CCP. It does this through a program called “Big Intelligence,” which is operated by its Ministry of Public Security.
The program was revealed in 2014, and had already been running for close to 10 years. The former chief of the Chongqing Public Security Bureau told Sound of Hope Radio that using “Big Intelligence,” the CCP can review all 1.3 billion Chinese people in 12 minutes, every person on China’s wanted list in 4 minutes, and every driver’s license in China in 3.5 minutes.
“Big Intelligence” is a dragnet surveillance program that puts Orwell’s fictional “telescreens” to shame. It gathers information from surveillance cameras located everywhere from taxis, to street corners, to shops, and uses this information to track people down. Sound of Hope Radio noted the CCP had been installing hundreds of thousands of surveillance cameras in every city. In 2014, the system had more than 50,000 surveillance cameras in Chongqing alone.
Police in Beijing announced in October 2015 their network of surveillance cameras were manned by more than 4,300 officers who monitor “100 percent of the capital.” The systems are commonly used to track religious believers and political dissidents.
2) The “Social Credit System”
What’s an authoritarian regime, if it doesn’t persecute people for independent thought? In Orwell’s vision, citizens are persecuted for “thought crimes.” It’s the same way under the CCP, where even user agreements for most major tech companies forbid “thought” and “speech” if it challenges the CCP’s rule.
But the Chinese regime takes it a few steps further with its Social Credit System. This program gathers all available information on every Chinese citizen, then uses it to assign each person a rating. Since this rating can affect a person’s ability to get a job, take a loan, or buy a house, it functions as a tool that facilitates self-censorship.
Since the Social Credit System also can lower someone’s rating if they have a friend or family member with a low rating, it creates an environment where friends and family members are expected to enforce the CCP’s policies on each other.
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