China's move towards a surveillance state has been well documented at this point. The social credit system and widespread facial recognition is used to track all civilians in major cities. However, an upgraded batch of Chinese surveillance tools will now be used to track specific groups in an even more invasive way.
Journalists and students targeted by new Chinese surveillance
Reported by Reuters, Chinese officials have commissioned a more effective surveillance system designed to track specific groups. Designed to be implemented in the Henan Province, these tools specifically target journalists and foreign students. Additionally, the tool can reportedly create an “accurate” reading even if the target is wearing a mask.
IPVM, a United States-based research firm, claims that this is just one more tool designed for “punishing journalists”. The software can reportedly search faces to find a journalist and then quickly compile their previous works to determine whether or not they are “harmful”.
IPVM'S Head of Operations Donald Maye said:
"While the PRC has a documented history of detaining and punishing journalists for doing their jobs, this document illustrates the first known instance of the PRC building custom security technology to streamline state suppression of journalists.”
The Traffic Light System
As part of the new Chinese surveillance tools, a new system for rating civilians. Essentially, journalists will be graded by their work on a traffic light system consisting of red, orange and green colours.
According to the BBC, any journalist found in the red category will be “dealt with accordingly”. However, there are no details as to what the orange colour will result in. Nevertheless, it's a bleak, dystopic reality for Chinese residents.
As for foreign students, documents claim that they will be rated on the same system. Students’ associated colours are dormant on their daily attendance, exam results, the country they come from and “school-discipline compliance”.
Finally, the system is planned to siphon information from an individual's life. For example, the following information is all planned to be used against civilians: “cell phones, social media, vehicle details, hotel stays, travel tickets. property ownership, photos (from existing databases)”.