Dystopia idea became a blueprint

I hate it when governments take some dystopian concept and use it as a blueprint rather than a warning:

It is a CCTV clip showing current surveillance in China. Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), facial recognition technology, GPS tracking and 20 million CCTV cameras, China’s sadly named “Sky Net” system demonstrates just how creepy real-time surveillance can be.

According to a documentary that ran on China Central Television, the security cameras use facial recognition to identify each person and then overlay a popup of personal information on the screen by the person. Descriptions include details such as age, gender, and other features such as clothing color. This happens in real time.

If you saw the TV series Person of Interest, this is the implementation of it under the control of the Chinese government. The show was pretty good. But a tool like that in the hands of any government is really bad news.

Current Chinese Surveillance System are something out a sci-fi film

H/T Josh J. via email.


9 thoughts on “Dystopia idea became a blueprint

  1. And all that surveillance won’t make catching the person who actually commits a specific crime on camera any easier. Even Ray Bradbury saw that in HIS dystopian novelette Fahrenheit 451, when the on-TV chase (another bit of prescience) by the robot dog ran up to a man the authorities knew innocently went for a walk at about that time of night, the visual went blurry and the man was knocked down by the robot and killed with the hypodermic of poison. After all, the chase had to be resolved properly to assure the viewers that the government was in control and they were safe.

    Maybe Mattress girl should be carrying a golden frame around with her like these poor subjects are.

  2. My city uses optical scanners on their police cruisers to read license plates. I was pulled over once for not having insurance. I was in a rental car (rental car companies self-insure). I had committed no moving violation, my vehicle was in perfect shape, the computer in the cruiser just told the officer to detain me for an apparent paperwork violation. Since then, it has been made public that the records of what plates have been read with locations and time stamps are maintained as a police database. Makes me want to get out the tinfoil and start making hats.

    • It is my understanding that most police cars are equipped like that and the departments maintain a location database.

    • I wonder if those databases are accessible via FOIA. Most are. (Interestingly, the CC permit database in NH is not, by law. And the state takes that seriously enough that they will not even disclose the number of entries in the database, i.e., the number of permit holders.)
      Fortunately, NH doesn’t require insurance so that particular excuse for bothering people doesn’t apply here.

  3. San Jose, CA was planning on adding plate scanners to their trash trucks, so they would get a quicker update on vehicle locations, rather than having to depend on somewhat random police car movements down every street in town.

    Their justification for this was a concern for finding stolen cars quicker. Really?

  4. …and this is how, “The Mark of the Beast” gets implemented, if you are of the Biblical bent. Chilling.

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