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Mass surveillance in China


Mass surveillance in China

Mass surveillance in China is a widespread practice throughout the country.


  • Current affairs 1
  • Timeline 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Current affairs

In January 2014, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television announced that real names would be required of users who wished to upload videos to Chinese web sites. The agency explained that the requirement was meant to "prevent vulgar content, base art forms, exaggerated violence and sexual content in Internet video having a negative effect on society."[1]


In Tibet, users of mobile phones and the Internet must identify themselves by name. In June 2013, the government reported that the programme had reached full realisation. An official said that "the real-name registration is conducive to protecting citizens' personal information and curbing the spread of detrimental information." More than 100 Tibetans had self-immolated for political reasons.[2]

In December 2013, the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology asked China Telecom, a major landline and mobile telephone company, to put a real name registration scheme into effect and to "regulate the dissemination of objectionable information over the network" in 2014.[3]

The government of China has installed over 20 million surveillance cameras across the country.[4][5][6] In 2012, it was reported that "More than 660 of the mainland's 676 cities use surveillance systems, according to official statistics." In Guangdong Province, 1.1 million cameras had been installed, with plans to increase the number to 2 million by 2015. The expansion was predicted to cost 12.3 billion yuan. Officials said that in the four years up to 2012, 100,000 crimes had been solved with the aid of the cameras. However, a critic said that "one of the most important purposes of such a smart surveillance system is to crack down on social unrest triggered by petitioners and dissidents."[7] In 2013, it was reported that the government saw the severe atmospheric pollution in Chinese cities as a security threat, because the CCTV cameras were being rendered useless.[8]

In 2011, the Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission proposed a mobile phone tracking programme, to be called the Information Platform of Realtime Citizen Movement, which was ostensibly intended to ease traffic flow on the city's streets.[9]


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External links

  • stories on surveillanceSouth China Morning Post
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