Digital Surveillance Unleashed: Implications for Human Rights, Democracy, and American Influence
Digital repression is occurring with increasing frequency across the world. One of the most important actors is China. It is using increasingly sophisticated technology in its pervasive surveillance systems, which it employs along with human surveillance to control ethnic and religious minorities, among others. The effects of this surveillance on the Uyghurs in Xinjiang is the most publicized instance. China’s nascent “social credit system” also incorporates artificial intelligence to rank the country’s population by 2020 and offer or deny access to travel, education, and jobs. Reporting indicates that Chinese companies are selling this technology to governments from Malaysia to Ecuador. China also increasingly seeks to influence internet governance and the information ecosystem. Mass and weakly regulated surveillance of civilian populations and Chinese-style internet governance will challenge democracy and human freedom, and support a governance model that diverges dramatically from that of the US and its closest allies. This event will focus on these challenges and potential policy approaches to address them.
This event is made possible through general support to CSIS.