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Reports of China keeping Uyghurs on surveillance confirmed one more time

ANI | Updated: Nov 09, 2020 13:15 IST

Pennsylvania [US], November 9 (ANI): While China continues to refute reports of ongoing atrocities on Uyghurs in Xinjiang region, another revelation has yet again confirmed Beijing using technology for surveillance on the ethnic minority community.
According to a report by IPVM, Dahua's software, published on its website, was revealed to track Uyghurs, thus, confirming that Dahua had developed discriminatory software like its rival Hikvision, which promoted a Uyghur-detecting AI camera last year.
However, Dahua later deleted the source after IPVM tried to contact them and refused to comment on the issue.
Giving details about how the information spread out in the media, IPVM said, "The news first began spreading on Twitter after engineer Serge Bazanski (@q3k) posted lines of code from Dahua's SDK showing "EM_NATION_TYPE_UYGUR". Here, "NATION" is short for nationality in Chinese, the term being used by Beijing for the ethnic groups.
It further said, "After @q3k's tweet, the news was widely shared on social media, including by Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong."
On November 2, the Hong Kong pro-democracy activist said in his tweet: "As #HK IT analysts found out, #Dahua, #China's partially state-owned CCTV producer, includes special functions for detecting #Uyghurs w/ its products. Dahua reportedly helps #CCP to monitor Uyghurs & #Muslim minorities in #Xinjiang."
IPVM further reported that over a dozen PRC police departments are deploying Uyghur analytics, which China's top law enforcement agency even included in facial recognition guidelines.

"EM_NATION_TYPE_UYGUR" is a face attribute analytic that is widely deployed across Chinese police security camera networks to automatically determine whether a person is Uyghur (or not), IPVM said.
Despite receiving criticisms from around the world, China has continued to use facial recognition technology to keep an eye on the Uyghurs.
In 2019, the US government had imposed sanctions on Dahua and Hikvision over human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China's campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
According to an earlier report by The New York Times, Chinese companies offering such analytic include Megvil, SenseTime, Yitu, CloudWalk.
"The companies' valuations soared in 2018 as China's Ministry of Public Security, its top police agency, set aside billions of dollars under two government plans, called Skynet and Sharp Eyes, to computerize surveillance, policing and intelligence collection," NYT reported.
About seven per cent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang has been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps, according to US officials and UN experts.
However, China regularly denies such mistreatment and said the camps provide vocational training.
People in the internment camps have said they are subjected to forced political indoctrination, torture, beatings, and denial of food and medicine, besides being prohibited from practising their religion or speaking their language. (ANI)