Yet, while the speed and intent of this response to protect workers in the absence of an effective U.S. response at the national level was commendable, these Chinese organizations are also bound up in the form of human rights violations.
Dahua is one of the leading providers of “smart camp” systems experienced in Vera Zhu Xinjiang (the company says its features are supported by technologies such as “computer vision systems, big data analytics and cloud computing”). In October 2019, both Dahua and Megavi were included in a list of eight Chinese technology companies that prevent U.S. citizens from selling their products and services (a list that is considered a threat to U.S. companies from supplying non-US companies.) , Preventing Amazon from selling to Dahua, but not buying from them). In July 2020, BGI’s affiliates in Xinjiang were placed on the US non-trade list.
The purchase of Amazon’s Dahua hit-mapping camera is reminiscent of an old moment in the spread of capitalism around the world, a memoir by historian Jason Moore: “Mississippi stands behind Manchester.”
What did Moore mean by that? Re-reading Friedrich Engels’ analysis of the textile industry that made Manchester in England so profitable, he saw that many aspects of the British Industrial Revolution would not have been possible without the cheap cotton produced by slave labor in the United States. Similarly, the ability to respond quickly to epidemics in Seattle, Kansas City, and Seoul depends on the method of repression in northwestern China that has opened up a space for training in biometric surveillance algorithms.
The safety of workers during epidemics depends on forgetting college students like Vera Zhao. This means ignoring thousands of inhumane treatment on thousands of prisoners and free workers.
At the same time, Seattle is also standing Before Xinjiang.
Amazon has its own role in irrational surveillance that harms ethnic minorities, targeting unauthorized immigrants in partnership with U.S. immigration and customs enforcement, and targets its active lobbying efforts in support of weak biometric surveillance controls. More directly, Microsoft Research Asia, the so-called “jewel of Chinese AI”, has played an important role in the growth and development of both Dahua and Megavi.
Chinese state funding, global terrorist rhetoric, and U.S. industrial training are the three main reasons why a fleet of Chinese companies now leads the world in face-to-face recognition. The process was accelerated by the war on terror that centered on placing Uyghurs, Kazakhs and Hui into a complex digital and material enclosure, but it is now widespread across the Chinese technology industry, where data-intensive infrastructure systems create flexible digital enclosures across the country, although Xinjiang Not on an equal scale.
China’s extensive and rapid response to the epidemic has accelerated the process by implementing and clearing these methods. They work. As they expand state power in such a comprehensive and intimate way, they can effectively change human behavior.
But China’s stance on the epidemic is not the only way to stop it. Democratic states like New Zealand and Canada, which have provided tests, masks and financial assistance to those forced to stay at home, have also been effective. These countries make it clear that involuntary surveillance is not the only way to protect the welfare of the majority, even at the national level.
Indeed, numerous studies have shown that surveillance systems support systemic racism and inhumanity by detaining target populations. The use of past and present U.S. administration entity lists to stop sales to companies like Dahua and Megavi, while important, is also creating a dual standard, punishing Chinese companies for automatic nationalization while financing American companies to do the same.
A growing number of U.S.-based companies are trying to develop their own algorithms to identify racial phenotypes, albeit through a consumerist approach based on consent. By facilitating automated nationalization in marketing things like lipstick, companies like Revlon are tightening the technical scripts available to individuals.
As a result, in many ways the nation is going to be an unfamiliar part of how it interacts with the world. Police in the United States and China think of automated assessment technology as a tool to identify potential criminals or terrorists. Algorithms suggest that it is normal for black men or Uyghurs to be unequally identified by these systems. They prevent the police and those they protect from recognizing that surveillance always controls and disciplines those who do not fit in with the views of those in power. The world, not just China, has surveillance problems.
To address the growing prohibition, the daily, the automatic racism, the disadvantages of biometric surveillance around the world must first be clarified. The lives of prisoners need to be made visible on the edge of power over life. Then the role of world-class engineers, investors and public relations firms should be clarified in not thinking of human experience in creating designs for human re-education. The network of interconnections – the way Xiajiang stands behind and in front of Seattle – must be thought-provoking.
– This story is from an edited part In the camps: China’s high-tech panel colony, Darren Boiler (Columbia Global Reports, 2021.) Darren Boiler is an assistant professor of international research at Simon Fraser University, focusing on the technology and politics of urban life in China.