China's People Monitoring Software Being Deployed In Darwin

Image: iStock

The Chinese government's desire to ensure social control is well known with its "social credit' monitoring system the stuff of nightmares for those of us accustomed to personal freedom. But part of the software used by the Chinese government is now being exported and found a customer in the City of Darwin.

The City of Darwin has been looking at adopting smart city technology and has decided to implement facial recognition software and other monitoring solutions in order to detect anomalous behaviour or if a known criminal or someone banned from entering a specific area.

The software will then alert authorities who can intercede when someone traverses what the council is calling a "virtual fence".

It all sounds like a good idea except that it will be scanning everyone's face. And that's a rich treasure trove of data that could be used in all sorts of ways.

Initially reported by The NT News, the council’s Innovation, Growth and Development Services general manager Josh Sattler said the system will use cameras and other sensors to monitor who is moving around and what they are using their smartphones for.

“(It will tell us) where people are using Wi-Fi, what they’re using Wi-Fi for, are they watching YouTube etc, all these bits of information we can share with businesses … we can let businesses know ‘hey, 80 per cent of people actually use Instagram within this area of the city, between these hours’.

Frankly, I find this a scary step further down the road of a surveillance state. With the city's desire to use data from WiFi networks commercially and, potentially, other purposes, it reinforces my view that there is no safe public WiFi if you value privacy.

If you must use public WiFi, only ever do so using VPN software - the free ProtonVPN is highly regarded as are a number of other solutions.


Comments

    Fortunately, I've already visited Darwin which is a lovely little city but I will never be going back if they put this dystopian nightmare into action.

    There is only one way to deal with barbarian foreign governments. Do not deal with them at all. In the case of China who torches Australian journalists amongst many other things why is an Australian council dealing with China at all.

    Australians clearly want to live the Chinese way. So be it; just keep buying stuff ( and surveillance software ) made in China. And you will. Bye by privacy, bye by Australia !

    does Darwin have Chinese Mayor or something?
    this and the wharf lease.

    Clearly none of these posters live in Darwin, where I do. For a start, we don't have a Chinese mayor. He is of Greek heritage. We used to have a Chinese one, but she had zero to do with leasing the wharf (it was done by the NT Government).
    Secondly, crime at the moment in Darwin is out of control. Case in point, I have been burgled three times in the past month.
    This is not uncommon. The little miscreants who thieve and beat-up average, innocent citizens seem to get away with it time and again.
    If a system would identify them and lead to more arrests then I can only hope they implement it soon.

      Yes John , but it sure looks like the council is driven by China and the China way. Perhaps the Darwin council has a financial interest in China. Who knows what they pass under the table.

      The surveillance cameras might identify the thieves, but the final result will be the same - another slap on the wrist.

    Re: John...

    The crime has been allowed to flourish, it helps establish a problem. Next the government will offer a solution, that will solve the problem and give them a bucket load of data they have no right having.

    The problem could be solved if the courts treated people equally, however in Australia, sentences are based on your gender, race, and how you serve the purpose of the agenda in implementing this type of technology.

    It sucks you have been harmed, the government simply considers you collateral damage, do not be fooled into thinking they want to help you.

    Sadly the NT does not fall under the sovereign states that formed the constitution, that is why it is the wild west. It is our Vegas, a territory that abides by a seperate set of rules, so does the ACT. They didn't put parliament in the ACT due to geographic reasons, they put it there for legal reasons. Move elsewhere and perhaps delay the inevitability of these things being installed everywhere.

    Now cash is being taken away, we will all be slaves to the irresponsible banks thanks to Captain Marketing. Again, the inquiry showed the banks are corrupt but our PM is going to force us to use the corrupt system. Australia is not a free land, our anthem is a lie.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now