Chinese province targets journalists, foreign students with planned new surveillance system

Asia's Tech News Daily

A security surveillance camera overlooks a street as cars drive by in Beijing
1 / 5Chinese province targets journalists, foreign students with planned new surveillance systemA security surveillance camera overlooks a street as cars drive by in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) -Security officials in one of China's largest provinces have commissioned a surveillance system they say they want to use to track journalists and international students among other “suspicious people”, documents reviewed by Reuters showed.

A July 29 tender document published on the Henan provincial government’s procurement website – reported in the media for the first time – details plans for a system that can compile individual files on such persons of interest coming to Henan using 3,000 facial recognition cameras that connect to various national and regional databases.

A 5 million yuan ($782,000) contract was awarded on Sept. 17 to Chinese tech company Neusoft, which was required to finish building the system within two months of signing the contract, separate documents published on the Henan government procurement website showed. Reuters was unable to establish if the system is currently operating.

Shenyang-based Neusoft did not respond to requests for comment.

China is trying to build what some security experts describe as one of the world's most sophisticated surveillance technology networks https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-monitoring-insight-idUSKBN1KZ0R3, with millions of cameras in public places and increasing use of techniques such as smartphone monitoring and facial recognition.

U.S.-based surveillance research firm IPVM, which has closely tracked the network's expansion and first identified the Henan document, said the tender was unique in specifying journalists as surveillance targets and providing a blueprint for public security authorities to quickly locate them and obstruct their work.

“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,” said IPVM'S Head of Operations Donald Maye, using the initials of the People's Republic of China.

Reuters was unable to find any documents identifying journalists or foreigners as specific targets of surveillance systems in other parts of China.

The Henan provincial government and police did not respond to requests for comment. The Ministry of Public Security and China's Foreign Ministry also did not comment.

“TAILED AND CONTROLLED”

The near-200 page tender document from the Henan Public Security Department does not give reasons why it wants to track journalists or international students. Another category of people it said it wants to track were “women from neighbouring countries that are illegal residents.”

Public access to the tender document was disabled on Monday.

The tender document specified cameras must be able to build a relatively accurate file for individuals whose faces are partially covered by a mask or glasses, and those targeted must be searchable on the database by simply uploading a picture or searching their facial attributes.

The system will be operated by at least 2,000 officials and policemen, and specifies that journalists will be divided into three categories: red, yellow, green, in decreasing order of risk, according to the tender.

Different police forces covering all of Henan, whose 99 million inhabitants makes it China's third-largest province by population, will be connected to the platform in order to spring into action in the event of a warning being set off, the tender explains.

Warnings will be set off if a journalist while in Henan registers into a hotel, buys a ticket, or crosses the provincial border, according to the tender.

“Suspicious persons must be tailed and controlled, dynamic research analyses and risk assessments made, and the journalists dealt with according to their category,” the tender reads.

The tender also detailed different early warning systems for the other groups.

MEDIA CONTROL

Some press freedom groups say the ruling Chinese Communist Party has tightened control over media since Chinese President Xi Jinping took office in 2012.

In February, the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) said China used coronavirus prevention measures https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-media-idUSKCN2AT182, intimidation and visa curbs to limit foreign reporting in 2020, citing responses to an annual survey of correspondents and interviews with bureau chiefs.

The Chinese foreign ministry at the time called the FCCC report “baseless” and said China always welcomed media and journalists from all countries to cover news in China according to the law. “What we oppose is ideological bias against China and fake news in the name of press freedom,” a spokesman said.

While most of the Henan document refers to journalists, several segments specify “foreign journalists”.

In October last year, the Henan government published on its procurement platform for prospective suppliers a short summary of the intended project in which it said the system would be “centred on foreigners” and help “protect national sovereignty, security, and interests”.

The contract was put out for tender on July 29, days after foreign journalists from the BBC, LA Times, Agence France-Presse and others reporting on devastating floods in Henan were targeted by a nationalist campaign on China's heavily censored social media platform Weibo.

The FCCC said at the time https://twitter.com/fccchina/status/1419946356995629057 it was “very concerned to witness the online and offline harassment of journalists” covering the floods. It described how, for instance, one Weibo account asked its 1.6 million followers to report the whereabouts of a foreign journalist who was reporting about the floods.

The tender also said the system should be able to track the movements of international students through methods such as mobile phone positioning and travel bookings – particularly during key dates such as the country's national day or annual session of parliament.

“On…sensitive dates, launch a wartime early warning mechanism,” it read.

($1 = 6.3924 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

The unlikely seaside town where Londoners are snapping up bargain homes for less than £150k

The Norfolk coast boasts dozens of lovely beaches. From Holkham to Wells, Hunstanton to Heacham, you really are spoilt for choice, whether you want a brisk winter’s stroll with the ... Read more »

Barcelona tells Dembélé to find new club this month

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona wants to move France winger Ousmane Dembélé before the close of the winter transfer window, a top club official said on Thursday. Barcelona soccer director ... Read more »

'Shame on us': Public health in America at a breaking point as pandemic enters third year

Before the pandemic, America’s public health system was the envy of the world. In late 2019, the Globe Health Security Index ranked the United States best among 195 nations in ... Read more »

UK seeks closer investment ties with Africa

© Getty Images International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan – Getty Images The UK is playing host to an African Investment Conference on Thursday, as it scrambles to retain influence on ... Read more »

Covid news - live: Work from home guidance ends as government hopes to see isolation rules scrapped in March

LIVE – Updated at 09:00 Work-from-home advice and rules on face coverings in classrooms have ended after Plan B measures to curb the spread of Omicron were axed. Other measures ... Read more »

Minister acted correctly in cancelling Djokovic's visa, Australian court says

An Australian court has revealed why it backed the immigration minister’s decision to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa. © Reuters Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia The tennis ... Read more »

Is Hillary Clinton planning a comeback?

© Raymond Hall/GC Images Hillary Clinton Raymond Hall/GC Images It’s clear that at 74, Clinton is still fired up, ‘ambitious’ and keen to wield influence Could Hillary Clinton have another ... Read more »

Sia's film Music was labelled controversial and offensive. The criticism left Sia feeling "suicidal".

This post deals with suicidal ideation and might be triggering for some readers. Sia Furler has always had a complicated relationship with fame. The ultra-private Australian singer-songwriter has spent years ... Read more »

Search for missing 3-year-old Lina Sardar Khil reaches 1-month mark

Search for missing 3-year-old reaches 1-month mark See more videos What to watch next Battle against omicron variant pushes hospitals, health care workers to the brink Battle against omicron variant ... Read more »

Texas synagogue standoff: New details emerge about the suspect who held 4 hostage during Sabbath service

© Andy Jacobsohn/AFP/Getty Images SWAT team members deploy near the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, some 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Dallas, on January 15, 2022. – ... Read more »

Lorraine Kelly condemns Esther McVey for saying ‘appalling things' about LGBT+ people

Lorraine Kelly has accused Esther McVey of saying “the most appalling things” about the LGBT+ community. The ITV presenter’s feud with the Conservative MP was first made public in 2019, ... Read more »

Airline rewards plans that give you the most bang for your buck

© Getty Images NERDWALLET This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.  Airline rewards programs are complicated. It might seem like you need a Ph.D. in complex systems (or at ... Read more »

Global energy transition to cause short-term economic pain -report

© Reuters/PASCAL ROSSIGNOL Power-generating windmill turbines are seen behind church in village of Inchy-en-Artois WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The transition to clean energy required to prevent temperatures from rising swiftly could ... Read more »

Germany expects COVID-19 cases to peak in mid-February

The Associated PressPeople rush to a train at a subway station in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022 as the daily number of COVID-19 infections are rising again. (AP Photo/Michael ... Read more »

Biden's foreign policy dilemmas

© Provided by Al Jazeera President Joe Biden speaks to the media after meeting with Senate Democrats, January 13 on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC [Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo] After a ... Read more »

Poland gets formal EU demand to pay fines over judicial regime

© Reuters/Yves Herman FILE PHOTO: EU flags flutter in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels By Gabriela Baczynska BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission has sent Poland formal ... Read more »

London house prices ‘consistently outpaced’ by regional markets

© PxHere City of London aerial view PxHere Capital’s annual growth was 5.1% in November – compared to 10% across the UK The average property value in London was £519,934 ... Read more »

Formula E: The motorsport leading the sprint to save the planet

Top-tier motorsport and positive climate action are not concepts the general population often associates with one another. After all, how can sending out a field of high-speed cars to race ... Read more »

Kirsty McLuckie: How many bathrooms should a home have for ease and comfort?

The bathroom-to-bedroom ratio has certainly risen in the last few decades, and even two-bed new-build flats are now usually expected to have an ensuite as well as a main bathroom. ... Read more »

Gantung sementara projek baharu berisiko jejas Taman Sri Muda, kata Najib

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Najib Razak berkata, projek baharu di sekitar Taman Sri Muda memilih membonceng sistem perparitan sedia ada di kawasan itu untuk mengalihkan air hujan ke ... Read more »

Mike McCarthy: Cowboys made the right call at end of game, just needed to execute better

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is not second guessing Dak Prescott‘s run up the middle at the end of Sunday’s loss to the 49ers, although he is acknowledging that the play ... Read more »

Simon Cowell 'cringed over Britain's Got Talent wedding'

© Bang Showbiz Simon Cowell is said to have ‘looked uncomfortable’ as a couple got married on stage during a Britain’s Got Talent audition Simon Cowell is said to have ... Read more »

Green campaigner lectures on damage of conservatories - while in hers

A green campaigner has called for conservatories to be banned – while sitting in her own one. Angela Terry said Britons need to dump the glass houses because they ‘act like ... Read more »

Season 2 'Cheer' cast on turning the show down

Cheer coaches Khris Franklin and Vaunte Johnson, whose team is featured in second season of docu-series”Cheer,” discuss declining to appear on the show’s first season, while creator Greg Whiteley and ... Read more »

Hilary Duff: 'I've read so many bad things'

Hilary Duff reveals why the script to “How I Met Your Father” grabbed her attention and why she thinks Kim Cattrall was the perfect choice to play the older verson ... Read more »

31,173 new COVID-19 cases push active tally to 275K

© REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez Social distancing remains a challenge as passengers wearing face masks and face shields flock to the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, for trips ... Read more »

Italy’s one euro houses: who can buy one and how does it work?

© Getty Images/iStockphoto Picturesque corner of a quaint hill town in Italy – Getty Images/iStockphoto With property prices in the UK out of reach for many first time buyers, and ... Read more »

Aldi adds new pieces to its stylish homeware range - and prices start from £2.99

For those looking to spruce up their home, Aldi’s stunning interior range is here to help – and you can save hundreds, if not thousands updating your home. Shoppers can ... Read more »

Unilever shares gain after opting not to lift bid for GSK consumer assets

© Reuters/DADO RUVIC Illustration of Unilever logo (Reuters) -Shares in Unilever inched roughly 2% higher on Thursday after the consumer goods giant said it would not raise its rejected 50 ... Read more »

Defection of Le Pen ally rallies Zemmour's presidential bid

© Reuters/CHRISTIAN HARTMANN FILE PHOTO: French far-right presidential candidate Zemmour attends a campaign rally in Villepinte PARIS (Reuters) – A senior European Union lawmaker quit Marine Le Pen’s National Rally ... Read more »

Why Arsenal won't register Dusan Vlahovic with Mikel Arteta to exploit transfer loophole

Arsenal are set to exploit a Premier League loophole if they secure the signing of Dusan Vlahovic. The Gunners are reportedly close to sealing a deal for the Fiorentina striker. ... Read more »

Disney Princess deluxe doll sets on sale right now

Disney collectors can save lots of cash right now on some gorgeous deluxe doll sets. ShopDisney has announced two special offers on its Disney Store Disney Princess Doll Set for ... Read more »

Exclusive-TikTok owner ByteDance's revenue growth slowed to 70% in 2021 - sources

By Yingzhi Yang and Xie Yu © Reuters/Dado Ruvic FILE PHOTO: Tik Tok logos are seen on smartphones in front of displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) ... Read more »

‘Gorgeous' Spanish hotspot named top trending destination - ‘picturesque seaside coves'

Tripadvisor’s 2022 Travellers’ Choice Awards choose winners based on the quality and quantity of review of a destination. The review site also looks at the top trending destination. Winners in ... Read more »

'Pokemon Unite' Patch Notes: Trevenant Move List, Price, Stats and Progression Revealed

Pokemon Unite has just received its first major patch of the year, introducing Trevenant to the fighter roster. The update file (Version 1.4.1.2) was available to download after a lengthy ... Read more »

CIA says 'Havana Syndrome' not result of sustained global campaign by hostile power

In a new intelligence assessment, the CIA has ruled out that the mysterious symptoms known as Havana Syndrome are the result of a sustained global campaign by a hostile power ... Read more »

Solving Climate Change Requires A New Social Contract

© dpa/AFP via Getty Images A student reaches for an inflated globe during a “Fridays for Future” protest for urgent climate action on May 24, 2019 in Muenster, northwestern Germany. ... Read more »

Fresh revelations in New York court underscore Trump's legal peril on multiple fronts

NY AG: Trump's company misled banks, tax officials See more videos What to watch next Norwegian killer Breivik arrives for final day of hearing Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik ... Read more »

How to use charged shots in Windjammers 2

© Provided by GamePur Learning how to play Windjammers 2 involves not just the general rules but also advanced techniques. Once you’ve mastered the basic moves, you’ll want to start using charged ... Read more »

SC issues TRO vs. Comelec over dismissal of vice-presidential aspirant

Supreme Court thumbnail The Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order against the Commission of Elections (Comelec) over its declaration of a vice-presidential aspirant as a nuisance candidate. In ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic