From Public Intelligence, news that China is developing its domestic surveillance capabilities at lightning speed:
Beijing police have ordered supermarkets and shopping malls to install high-definition security cameras, as China continues its huge expansion in monitoring technology.
The country has added millions of surveillance cameras over the last five years, part of a broader increase in domestic security spending.
In May, Shanghai announced that a team of 4,000 monitor its surveillance feeds to ensure round-the-clock coverage. The south-western municipality of Chongqing has announced plans to add 200,000 cameras by 2014 because “310,000 digital eyes are not enough”.
Urumqi, which saw vicious ethnic violence in 2009, installed 17,000 high-definition, riot-proof cameras last year to ensure “seamless” surveillance. Fast-developing Inner Mongolia plans to have 400,000 units by 2012. In the city of Changsha, the Furong district alone reportedly has 40,000 – one for every 10 inhabitants.
There are cameras on streets and in stores, in university classrooms and outside the doors of dissidents. In March, Beijing roused disquiet in the arts world when it mooted plans to spend 5.57m yuan on cameras to monitor performances in venues such as cinemas and theatres.
As they say, Britain has also gotten pretty camera-crazy. Here, however, it isn’t just the possibility that they’ll be used for Big Brother-style surveillance: it’s absolutely assured that they will.