US hedge-funds wax fat by investing in Chinese surveillance

The NYT has a creepy article about profiteering US hedge-funds that are making their fortunes by investing in increased surveillance in China, including technologies designed to recognize pro-democracy demonstrations so that the police can break them up faster.
Wall Street analysts now follow the growth of companies that install surveillance systems providing Chinese police stations with 24-hour video feeds from nearby Internet cafes. Hedge fund money from the United States has paid for the development of not just better video cameras, but face-recognition software and even newer behavior-recognition software designed to spot the beginnings of a street protest and notify police...

Each time China Security and Surveillance makes an acquisition, it holds an elaborate banquet, with dancers. The majority of the 500 or more people invited are municipal and provincial security officials, as well as executives of rival companies that may become acquisition targets.

"When they come, they hear central government officials endorsing us, they hear bankers endorsing us or supporting us, it gives us credibility," Mr. Yap said. "It's a lot of drinking, it's like a wedding banquet."

Link (Thanks, Kathryn)
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