There is nothing wrong with this story on China’s growing surveillance grid, except that it was produced in America for Americans without any sense of irony.
“Today, in Chinese cities, cameras are everywhere: on highways, in public parks, on balconies, in elevators, in taxis, even in the stands at sporting events. Officials say the cameras help combat crime and maintain ‘social stability’ — a euphemism for shutting up critics. In fact, the government routinely uses cameras to monitor and intimidate dissidents. Human rights activists worry that more surveillance will erode the freedom of ordinary people and undermine what little ability they have to question their rulers.”
How nice that NPR can openly claim that the Chinese state is using a “euphemism for shutting up critics.” How about showing the same kind of analysis about what the NSA has been doing (you have to go to the news network, Russia Today, to find out about that), or how DHS wants to have spy drones flying overhead—drones that are being given incredible surveillance powers.
The NPR interviewed one dissident who was being harassed by government surveillance and bullying. (Of course, if you want to combat a growing surveillance state, it might be good to not be immoral). I found her comment rather interesting:
“Many people have been deceived by the government. They think this government is OK and it wouldn’t do such dirty, disgusting and shameless things. I feel they are all like poisonous snakes. I fear them and hate them.”
Of course, NPR is at the forefront of convincing the American people that the government, or at least part of the government run by the Democrats, is entirely OK. They’re always on hand to sound so reasonable and promise us that they would never “do such dirty, disgusting, and shameless things,” like sell assault weapons to drug cartels in Mexico (that was just a “bungle”; no one meant to do that!), or use Sunni terrorists as soldiers (no, Al Qaeda only “hijacked” a democratic uprising against an evil dictator), or lie to the American people to create death panels. If a Federal agency exposed a dissident’s immorality on camera, NPR would use that to discredit the dissident rather than scream about the surveillance state’s powers.
“‘The greatest fear is the state uses its surveillance and technology to curtail the modest freedoms that Chinese enjoy today,’ Nicholas Bequelin, a Hong Kong-based researcher for Human Rights Watch. Bequelin says the Communist Party’s ultimate goal is highly accurate, facial-recognition technology that would allow the government to visually track critics in real time. ‘That would be a game changer,” he says, one that could “prevent the emergence of any challenge to the party in the short and long term.’ China already uses facial recognition in places like immigration checkpoints.”
If you think the Federal government has any different goal for the American people, you are fooling yourself. As Congressman Blackburn of Tennessee pointed out a year ago:
“Many of my constituents discovered this first hand this past fall as those familiar blue uniforms and badges appeared on Tennessee highways. In October Tennessee became the first state to conduct a statewide Department of Homeland Security Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) team operation which randomly inspected Tennessee truck drivers and cars. VIPR teams which count TSOs among their ranks, conduct searches and screenings at train stations, subways, ferry terminals and every other mass transit location around the country. In fact, as the Los Angeles Times has detailed, VIPR teams conducted 9,300 unannounced checkpoints and other search operations in the last year alone.”
TSO are TSA “officers.” People Blackburn points out who have zero law enforcement training and who are recruited from signs in DC-area convenience stores and on the lids a pizza boxes. The grid is being built around us. It is amazing how clearly we can see it in China and ignore it at home.