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Re: <nettime> China’s dystopian push to revolutionize surveillance
Nils Reichert on Wed, 27 Sep 2017 22:55:12 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> China’s dystopian push to revolutionize surveillance

Am Mon, 18 Sep 2017 10:54:30 +0200
schrieb Felix Stalder <felix {AT} openflows.com>:

> As part of a new multimillion-dollar project in Xinjiang, the Chinese
> government is attempting to “build a fortress city with technologies.”
> If this sounds Orwellian, that’s because it is. According to the Sina
> online news portal, the project is supposed to strengthen the
> authorities’ hands against unexpected social unrest. Using “big data”
> from various sources, including the railway system and visitors’
> systems in private residential compounds, its ultimate aim is to
> “predict … individuals and vehicles posing heightened risks” to
> public safety.

This may be a cultural thing but I'm struck by the casualness of this
“ultimate aim”. While a lot of discussions about surveillance still
follow the idea of a panopticon, big data could be (once again) a step
from avoidance of misbehaviour through predictable punishment to
predictable misbehaviour leading to avoidance and self-punishment.
The difference is most eminent when it comes to the position of
I know that I will be seen and I will be punished (but despite all
coercion could still decide to misbehave)
The system knows I might misbehave and is going to intervene before I
make up my mind. (Disobedience is only possible through a loss of

Maybe this is nonsense or just common sense but anyway I'd be
thankful for any greater outlooks on this perspective, reading
suggestions etc…

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