Xinjiang province is the site of intense surveillance and oppression, even by Chinese standards; it's home to the largely Muslim Uyghur minority, and a combination of racism and Islamaphobia drive a uniquely intrusive grade of policing and surveillance.
The Chinese government is undertaking a "Population Registration Program" that involves gathering "DNA samples, fingerprints, iris scans, and blood types of all residents in the region between the age of 12 and 65." Nominally, it's part of a fitness program to screen for diseases, target health care, and create electronic health records.
Human Rights Watch points out that as laudable as these goals are, they take on a different complexion when they're used as a program that exclusively targets people in a region known for ethnic-based oppression.
As well as concerns about the human rights of Uyghurs being harmed, another issue is that Xinjiang's Population Registration Program may be used as a trial before rolling out DNA collection to the entire Chinese adult population, just as is happening with a national facial recognition database. Although such a large-scale genetic database would have been infeasible a few years ago, advances in sequencing and dramatic falls in data storage and processing costs mean that it could probably be built now. And if China goes down this route, the fear has to be other countries will follow, just as they are doing in the realm of online surveillance.
China Is Building The Ultimate Surveillance Tool: A DNA Database Of Every Adult Resident In Troubled Xinjiang Region [Glyn Moody/Techdirt]
The video conferencing app Zoom has become suddenly ubiquitous over the past few weeks, as the coronavirus shutdown closes schools, businesses, and keeps us all indoors. Shares of Zoom dropped 9% on Monday, adding to their sharp declines in recent days, as security and privacy vulnerabilities are reported. There is also new competition from other […]
“Researchers conclude that Zoom uses non-industry-standard cryptographic techniques with identifiable weaknesses and is not suitable for sensitive communications.”
Everyone is using Zoom for everything from pandemic family gatherings to A.A. meetings to therapy sessions to teaching college classes, but the app has newly revealed and very concerning security vulnerabilities. The contents of thousands of video calls made on the app Zoom were exposed on the open web, and easily available via common web […]
There are plenty of productive ways to spend time while stuck indoors. While it’s undoubtedly fun to binge all 15 seasons of Supernatural or sink days of playtime into an Overwatch campaign, learning something new is definitely a more meaningful and long-term beneficial use of open hours. And if you’re going to invest time in […]
Yoga studios are closed nationwide. The irony is that between the anxieties of the outside world and those popping up inside your very own home with everyone trapped indoors, there’s probably never been a time where yoga’s calming zen was more vital and needed. Rather than just throwing in the yoga mat and subjecting family […]
The workers aren’t inside their physical business space anymore. So why should business technology still be under that roof either? In fact, more and more businesses have been making this migration for a while now, moving all their digital infrastructure to the world’s two largest cloud services platforms, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure. […]