Information Warfare: 1984 Becomes Real In 2024

Information Warfare: 1984 Becomes Real In 2024, by Jim Dunnigan.

The Chinese media control effort eventually evolved into a huge data monitoring and data collection system. In the last few years, as their facial recognition via a growing network of high resolution video cameras became a proven technology, it led quickly to the creation of a SCR (Social Credit Rating) system in which all the accumulated data on an individual can be analyzed to determine which patterns of behavior lead to criminal or anti-government behavior.

China needed someplace to test all these new technologies together and over the last few years China has used Xinjiang province, which has a large Moslem minority, as the test site. In Xinjiang China is discovering how well this cell phone, Internet and public (captured via vidcams) behavior and other forms of population monitoring can be used to exercise more control over large populations. …

While the SCR is near-total in Xinjiang province portions of it are already used nationwide. Over the last decade China has built the words’ largest and most effective monitoring and censorship network. First it was applied to text messages on the new cell phone networks and then, when the Internet became widely available in China during the late 1990s, to the more powerful Internet based communications. China soon developed methods for influencing as well as controlling what people learned on the Internet. …

In the West the same techniques came to be used by the major Internet communications companies (Facebook and Google) who were under public pressure to censor objectionable material and discussions. … Now there are fears that the fictional “1984” type information control has become a reality everywhere, not just in dictatorships like China and police states like Russia. …

By late 2018 the Chinese government boasted that nationwide fifteen million people have been banned from flying or riding the high speed trains because of their low SCR. Chinese are beginning to understand that Low SCR has major consequences. Low SCR makes it more difficult to get a good job, a bank loan or a passport. SCR scores depend on what the government sees, hears or reads via that growing network of sensors and informants. …

The government expects to have the Big Brother type monitoring and SCR systems operating nationwide by 2020. …

Local officials and police have a lot of discretion in deciding which behavior is likely to lower an SCR. In other words, some well-placed or well-timed bribes can keep your SCR healthy. …

One way of boosting your SCR, and making some legal money (although usually less than $50 a month) is to agree to work for the secret police as a local informer. … In central Beijing … about three percent of the population are paid informants.