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Digital Surveillance in China: From the
Great Firewall to the social credit system
Winnie Soon | 24.Jan.2017
Aarhus Univer...
Research perspective as a Hong Kongese…
https://www.facebook.com/localstudiohongkong/posts/911512712220379?utm_source=Desi...
https://www.facebook.com/localstudiohongkong/posts/911512712220379?utm_source=DesignTAXI&utm_me
dium=DesignTAXI&utm_term=D...
Digital Surveillance in China
https://www.apc.org/en/node/14821
0
200
400
600
800
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017...
Michel de Certeau (1984)
The Practice of Everyday Life
[A] tactic is determined by the absence of power just
as a strategy...
Strategies are operations:
- Defining how things work/operate (such as law, policy, firewall
creation)
- Regarding Interne...
China’s state law - 1996
Measures on the Regulation of Public
Computer Networks and the Internet
Article 10:
…No unit or i...
The Golden Shield Project (2003 – present)
Operated by the Ministry of Public Security
Controlling the flow of information...
China Channel, 2008 | by Aram Bartholl, Evan Roth and Tobias Leingruber
[Browser add-on]
Tactics…
CANNOT (2010) by Winnie Soon
[5x Digital prints with screen shots]
Tactics…
Hundred degree can not search
your thirty degree smile, 2016 by
Miao Ying
LAN Love Poem-Holding a kitchen
knife cut intern...
The Golden Shield Project (2003- present)
Operated by the Ministry of Public Security
It is more than a mere technological...
The Golden Shield Project (2003- present)
Operated by the Ministry of Public Security
It is more than a mere technological...
Strategies…
http://firstmonday.org/article/view/2378/2089
Censored Censorship, 2010 | by Kim Asendorf
[Net Art]
Tactics…
Weiboscope (2011-present) and WeChatscope (under pilot study) by Fu King Wa and his team @ HKU
Tactics…
Tactics are procedures that gain validity in relation to the pertinence
they lend to time-to the circumstances which the p...
Specific event: Tiananmen Square Protest | 1989
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxDd82Myqis
Censored from sina weibo during 2013 - 2014
Tactics…
4.6.2016
Tactics…
//点//
//点//
/点//
/人//
//点//
//点//
/点//
/人//
4.6.2016
Tactics…
占占点
占占人
占点占
6+4 6+4
8的平方 square of eight
viiv viiv (Roman numerals 6 and 4)
65-1 65-1
五四+一个月 May Fourth + one month
https:...
What will happen soon?
Social Credit System
(2020)
“construct a social credit environment of sincerity, self-
discipline, trust-keeping and mutua...
Social Credit System
(2020)
Basic info:
Official announcement: 2014
Target implementation: 2020
Citizen: 1.3 billion+
Iden...
Black Mirror: Nose Dive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgLYHM6evt8&t=34m20s
Key insights:
- Tactics are resistance acts, emerging from every day practice and
accompanying by the asymmetrical balance...
Ref:
• Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System (2014-
2020):https://chinacopyrightandmedia.wordpre...
Appendix
http://video.eblcu.cn/cls/201103/course/3-1/img/4.jpg
Pictorial Chinese Characters…
People
Tactics…
Weibo Credit
(2011-present)
[Weibo, social media]
Strategies…
Sesame Credit Scores
(2015-present)
[Payment App]
Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of the
Chinese Alibaba Group
...
Social Credit System
(2014-2020)
“All levels’ People’s Governments must first and foremost
strengthen their own sincerity ...
Social Credit System
(2014-2020)
“When people's behavior isn't bound by their morality, a
system must be used to restrict ...
Recording the individual credit records
Improving individual information security
Promoting sharing of individual credit i...
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Digital Surveillance in China: From the Great Firewall to the Social Credit System

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Organized by AU Data Lab: http://datalab.au.dk/currently/events/show/artikel/come-join-us-for-the-first-lunch-talk-in-2017/

Abstract: As part of the Great Firewall of China, the Golden Shield Project, a massive surveillance and censoring system was initiated in the 1990s in China. The recent initiative of China’s social-credit system will assign a ‘social credit’ rating to every citizen based on their professions, social behaviors, online shopping habits and many others. This credit scoring system will collect data points through running algorithms and analyzing big data, which is connected to the entire rewards and punishment system. This presentation will discuss the Golden Shield Project and its relation to the latest social credit system. Few artistic and journalistic digital projects will be presented to examine how creativity could emerge from and through this highly controlled digital environment and how citizens may work against the internet censorship.

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Digital Surveillance in China: From the Great Firewall to the Social Credit System

  1. 1. Digital Surveillance in China: From the Great Firewall to the social credit system Winnie Soon | 24.Jan.2017 Aarhus University www.siusoon.net
  2. 2. Research perspective as a Hong Kongese… https://www.facebook.com/localstudiohongkong/posts/911512712220379?utm_source=DesignTAXI&utm_medium=DesignTAXI&utm_term=DesignTAXI&utm_content=Desi gnTAXI&utm_campaign=DesignTAXI
  3. 3. https://www.facebook.com/localstudiohongkong/posts/911512712220379?utm_source=DesignTAXI&utm_me dium=DesignTAXI&utm_term=DesignTAXI&utm_content=DesignTAXI&utm_campaign=DesignTAXI Share a similar language system (the same base Chinese alphabet)…
  4. 4. Digital Surveillance in China https://www.apc.org/en/node/14821
  5. 5. 0 200 400 600 800 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 MILLION Initiative on social-credit system Internet Penetration in China and key milestones on technological development/related policies real name Registration + enhanced VPN blocking join meeting about social credits system at provincial levelThe term “Great Firewall” was coined Initiative on Golden Shield Project Golden Shield Project in operation Launched Google.cn Guidelines on social-credit system Target completion of social-credit system Google.cn redirected to HK Online Publishing Services Permit + ICP licence Clean up campaign on unauthorized VPN providers
  6. 6. Michel de Certeau (1984) The Practice of Everyday Life [A] tactic is determined by the absence of power just as a strategy is organized by the postulation of power. (De Certeau, 1984, p. 38. Italics in original)
  7. 7. Strategies are operations: - Defining how things work/operate (such as law, policy, firewall creation) - Regarding Internet as an institutional space of authority - Allowing work to build upon previous work (De Certeau, 1984, p. xix) Tactics are resistance acts: - Resistance stems from daily life practice - Tactics are improvisational and opportunistic (De Certeau, 1984, p. xix) - Tactical practices operate within “the space of the other” (De Certeau, 1984, p. xix) - Creative consumption - “A tactic is an art of the weak” (De Certeau, 1984, p. 37).
  8. 8. China’s state law - 1996 Measures on the Regulation of Public Computer Networks and the Internet Article 10: …No unit or individual may use the Internet to retrieve, replicate, create, or transmit information that harms national security, threatens social stability …. Strategies… China’s state law - 1996 Temporary Regulations Governing Computer Information Networks and the Internet No. 195: The State is in charge of overall planning, national standardization, graded control, and the development of all areas related to the Internet. ... No group or individual may establish or utilize any other means to gain Internet access.
  9. 9. The Golden Shield Project (2003 – present) Operated by the Ministry of Public Security Controlling the flow of information through a censorship system, including: • IP blocking • DNS Filtering and Redirection • URL and Packet Filtering • VPN/SSH Traffic Recognition • Speech and Face recognition Strategies…
  10. 10. China Channel, 2008 | by Aram Bartholl, Evan Roth and Tobias Leingruber [Browser add-on] Tactics…
  11. 11. CANNOT (2010) by Winnie Soon [5x Digital prints with screen shots] Tactics…
  12. 12. Hundred degree can not search your thirty degree smile, 2016 by Miao Ying LAN Love Poem-Holding a kitchen knife cut internet cable, a road with lightning sparks, 2014 by Miao Ying Flowers all fallen, Birds far gone, 2015 by Miao Ying LAN Love Poem-To be Missed is Another kind of Beauty, 2014 by Miao Ying >> Interview with Ying Miao: https://vimeo.com/162455923 Tactics…
  13. 13. The Golden Shield Project (2003- present) Operated by the Ministry of Public Security It is more than a mere technological project: - Not only to control the access of ‘foreign’ information - But also discover the need to censor local contents (user generated content) e.g P2P and internal/local servers Strategies…
  14. 14. The Golden Shield Project (2003- present) Operated by the Ministry of Public Security It is more than a mere technological project: - Not only to control the access of ‘foreign’ information - But also discover the need to censor local contents (user generated content) e.g P2P and internal/local servers > 50-cent party members to influence Internet discussion > A culture of self-censorship (from individuals to companies) > Internet policing (estimated to contain over 200,000 workers) Strategies…
  15. 15. Strategies… http://firstmonday.org/article/view/2378/2089
  16. 16. Censored Censorship, 2010 | by Kim Asendorf [Net Art] Tactics…
  17. 17. Weiboscope (2011-present) and WeChatscope (under pilot study) by Fu King Wa and his team @ HKU Tactics…
  18. 18. Tactics are procedures that gain validity in relation to the pertinence they lend to time-to the circumstances which the precise instant of an intervention transforms into a favorable situation, to the rapidity of the movements that change the organization of a space, to the relations among successive moments in actions, to the possible intersections of durations and heterogeneous rhythms, etc. (De Certeau, 1984, p. 38)
  19. 19. Specific event: Tiananmen Square Protest | 1989 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxDd82Myqis
  20. 20. Censored from sina weibo during 2013 - 2014 Tactics…
  21. 21. 4.6.2016 Tactics… //点// //点// /点// /人//
  22. 22. //点// //点// /点// /人// 4.6.2016 Tactics…
  23. 23. 占占点 占占人 占点占 6+4 6+4 8的平方 square of eight viiv viiv (Roman numerals 6 and 4) 65-1 65-1 五四+一个月 May Fourth + one month https://qz.com/698990/261-ways-to-refer-to-the-tiananmen-square-massacre-in-china/ Strategies… Sensitive keywords
  24. 24. What will happen soon?
  25. 25. Social Credit System (2020) “construct a social credit environment of sincerity, self- discipline, trust-keeping and mutual trust.” (State Council, 2014)
  26. 26. Social Credit System (2020) Basic info: Official announcement: 2014 Target implementation: 2020 Citizen: 1.3 billion+ Identification: credit/citizen score (based on id number) Coverage: Individual, companies and institutions (*sectoral credit information systems) Scope of the system: Politics, Business, Society, Justice Consequences: Rewards: incentivise trust-keeping (*rewards for reporting individuals) Punishment: punish trust-breaking (*establish blacklist systems, market withdrawal mechanisms, policy support, administrative approval, public service market access etc)
  27. 27. Black Mirror: Nose Dive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgLYHM6evt8&t=34m20s
  28. 28. Key insights: - Tactics are resistance acts, emerging from every day practice and accompanying by the asymmetrical balance of power. - Tactics are targeted, capturing the opportunistic time/space. - An urgency to develop an archive of tactical practices (in relation to digital surveillance in China).
  29. 29. Ref: • Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System (2014- 2020):https://chinacopyrightandmedia.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/planning-outline-for-the- construction-of-a-social-credit-system-2014-2020/ • Government Requests Report (Facebook): https://govtrequests.facebook.com/ • State Council releases guidelines on establishing individual credit system: http://english.gov.cn/policies/latest_releases/2016/12/30/content_281475528903041.htm • A brief history of China’s campaign to enforce real-name registration online: https://www.techinasia.com/history-chinas-campaign-enforce-realname-registration-online • Annual Report on the Development of China’s Special Economic Zone (2016) • Measurers on the regulation of public computer networks and the Internet (1996): http://www.asianlii.org/cn/legis/cen/laws/motropcnati718/ • A history of Google in China: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/faf86fbc-0009-11df-8626- 00144feabdc0.html?ft_site=falcon#axzz4VwNKKQR5 • Miao Ying: http://rhizome.org/editorial/2015/jul/08/artist-profile-miao-ying/ • Background of Jun fourth: https://botanwang.com/node/10883 • China’s Golden Shield: Is Cisco Systems Complicit? http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2015/03/china%E2%80%99s-golden-shield-cisco- systems-complicit • China Imposes Broad New Restrictions on Publication of Internet Content: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=fa85e3a8-21d4-445c-85bb-2d7b66b57262 • China’s Censorship 2.0: How companies censor bloggers by Rebecca Mackinnon http://firstmonday.org/article/view/2378/2089 • 工业和信息化部关于清理规范互联网网络接入服务市场的通知: http://www.miit.gov.cn/n1146295/n1652858/n1652930/n3757020/c5471946/content.html
  30. 30. Appendix
  31. 31. http://video.eblcu.cn/cls/201103/course/3-1/img/4.jpg Pictorial Chinese Characters… People
  32. 32. Tactics…
  33. 33. Weibo Credit (2011-present) [Weibo, social media] Strategies…
  34. 34. Sesame Credit Scores (2015-present) [Payment App] Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of the Chinese Alibaba Group Strategies…
  35. 35. Social Credit System (2014-2020) “All levels’ People’s Governments must first and foremost strengthen their own sincerity construction, and drive the establishment of an sincerity consciousness in all of society and an increase in the levels of sincerity through honest governing by governments. Take the lead in using credit information and credit products in administrative permission, government procurement, tendering and budding, labour and employment, social security, scientific research management, cadre promotion and appointment, management and supervision, application for government financial support and other such areas, and foster the development of a credit services market.” (State Council Notice, 2014) Strategies…
  36. 36. Social Credit System (2014-2020) “When people's behavior isn't bound by their morality, a system must be used to restrict their actions” - Chinese Academy of Social Science, 2015 “Especially given the speed of the digital economy it is crucial that people can quickly verify each other’s creditworthiness. The behavior of the majority is determined by their world of thoughts. A person who believes in socialist core values, is behaving more decent.” - Professor Wang Shuqin, 2015 “It is clearly an attempt to create a new citizen” -Researcher Rogier Creemers, 2015 Strategies…
  37. 37. Recording the individual credit records Improving individual information security Promoting sharing of individual credit information Perfecting the incentive and punishment mechanisms of individual credit (e.g joint punishment) Guidelines of the social credit system (2016) http://english.gov.cn/policies/latest_releases/2016/12/30/content_281475528903041.htm http://www.chinalawtranslate.com/creditmechanisms/?lang=en

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