(AP) — The Chinese government continues its Orwellian practices with the announcement that citizens will have to use facial recognition technology to access the internet (which is already highly fire-walled.)
This is all a part of China’s social credit system that will take effect on Dec. 1st. After the law is in effect, Chinese citizens who want to have the internet installed at their houses or on their smartphones will be required to undergo a facial recognition process by Chinese authority to prove their identities, according to the new regulation.
This is significant because now the Chinese government will use the internet to rate citizens based on their daily behavior online.
Since 2015, Chinese citizens have been required to show their ID cards while applying for a landline or the internet. This new law is put in place to verify that the ID belongs to the person applying for services.
The new law was published on the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) website and distributed to all Chinese telecom carriers on Sept. 27th, which includes three demands be met, Epoch Times reports.
First, all telecom carriers must use facial recognition to test whether an applicant who applies for internet connection is the owner of the ID that they use since Dec. 1. At the same time, the carriers must test that the ID is genuine and valid.
Second, all telecom carriers must upgrade their service’s terms and conditions and notify all their customers that they are not allowed to transfer or resell their cell phone SIM card to another person by the end of November 2019.
Third, telecom carriers should help their customers to check whether there are cell phone or landline numbers that don’t belong to them but registered under their names since Dec. 1. For unidentified numbers, the telecom carries must investigate and close the lines immediately.
This comes on the heels of another Chinese pilot program which allows citizens to pay for subway/train travel using just their facial biometrics as Activist Post reported. This new system also compensates elderly Chinese in the city of Shenzhen, China, with a free ride — if they pay with their face — providing incentives for using facial recognition technology.
China is planning to merge its 170+ million security cameras with artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to create a mega-surveillance state. This compounds with China’s “social credit system” that ranks citizens based on their behavior, and rewards or punishes depending on those scores.
According to the latest report of U.S.-based market research firm IDC, China had spent $10.6 billion on video surveillance equipment in 2018. The firm adds that China’s spending is believed to reach $20.1 billion in 2023. A massive 64.3 percent of China’s spending in 2018 was spent solely for surveillance cameras. A worrying figure for the future of China.
IDC reported on Jan. 30th that it predicted China would have 2.76 billion surveillance cameras installed in 2022.
Already, China’s cities, classrooms and even restrooms are inundated with facial recognition technology. Inside classrooms, facial recognition technology monitors students and reports their actions to the teachers and parents. While to access the basic need of using toilet paper in a public bathroom China requires citizens to scan their face just to wipe their butt.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Chinese scientists have recently developed an artificial intelligence (AI) enabled 500 megapixel cloud camera that’s capable of panoramic capture of an entire stadium with the ability to target a single individual in an instant, Global Times reported.
The upgrade to facial recognition technology is developed by Shanghai-based Fudan University and Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Changchun, capital of Northeast China’s Jilin Province.
Fudan University and Changchun Institute of Optics aren’t the first researchers to advance facial recognition. There is also Shanghai-based YITU Technology which has evolved the facial recognition industry by being able to identify a person within a matter of seconds from a database of people, even if only their partial face is visible, CNBC reported.
The evolution of facial recognition technology is further documented by researchers at the University of Bradford have found that “facial recognition technology works even when only half a face is visible,” according to EurekAlert.
China is quickly becoming Orwell’s worst nightmare, advancing its requirement and use of facial recognition technology. In protests, Hong Kong activists have begun shining laser pointers at facial recognition cameras to disrupt their function. Protesters have also taken additional measures, like spray painting camera lenses on the street or around government offices as Activist Post has reported.
This latest crackdown now requiring internet users in China to register their faces if they want to use the service is a huge step in creating a dystopian society. The remaining obvious question is how long until this type of facial ID requirement spreads to the U.S. and EU? We do know that the U.S. has wanted an “Internet ID Act” for quite some time, according to Amie Stepanovich, national security counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. The fact that this process could now include facial recognition thanks to China rolling it out first is a horrifying nightmarish thought — welcome to 1984.
The views in this article may not reflect editorial policy of The Mind Unleashed.
Florida Set to Release a Billion Genetically Modified Mosquitoes in “Nightmare” Experiment
Environmentalists and Florida residents voiced concern and outrage Monday as state government officials and the biotechnology giant Oxitec announced plans to move ahead this week with a pilot project that involves releasing up to a billion genetically engineered mosquitoes in Monroe County over a two-year period.
Presented by local authorities as an effort to control the population of Aedes aegypti—a mosquito species that can carry both the dengue and yellow fever virus—critics warn that the effort’s supposed benefits and its potential negative consequences have not been sufficiently studied.
Responding to news that the first boxes of genetically modified mosquitos are set to be placed in six locations in Monroe County this week, Friends of the Earth noted in a press release that “scientists have raised concerns that GE mosquitoes could create hybrid wild mosquitoes which could worsen the spread of mosquito-borne diseases and could be more resistant to insecticides than the original wild mosquitoes.”
Dana Perls, food and technology program manager at Friends of the Earth, called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—which approved the project last May—to “halt this live experiment immediately.”
“This is a dark moment in history,” said Perls. “The release of genetically engineered mosquitoes puts Floridians, the environment, and endangered species at risk in the midst of a pandemic. This release is about maximizing Oxitec’s profits, not about the pressing need to address mosquito-borne diseases.”
The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District and Oxitec said late last week that “less than 12,000 mosquitoes are expected to emerge each week” in Monroe Country over a duration of around three months, the initial phase of the experiment.
The stated goal of the project is for Oxitec’s genetically altered, non-biting male mosquitos to mate with the local biting female population, producing female offspring that die in the larval stage before they can spread disease.
As the Miami Herald explained earlier this year: “A ‘death mechanism’ designed into mosquitoes is meant to ensure no viable female offspring will result from the mating, according to Oxitec. The male offspring will pass on the ‘self-limiting gene’ to half of their offspring, said company spokesman Ross Bethell.”
“My family’s bodies, blood, and private property are being used in this trial without human safety studies or my consent,” Mara Daly, a resident and local business owner in Key Largo, Florida, said in a statement Monday.
Barry Wray, executive director of the Florida Keys Environmental Coalition, added that the “EPA has set the lowest possible bar for approving genetically engineered insects and has opened Pandora’s Box for future experiments that will slide through with little investigation.”
“Everyone should be writing the White House to stop this release until there are regulations and standards that truly protect us,” Wray said.
Republished from CommonDreams.org under Creative Commons
SpaceX Starship Had “Near Collision” With Unknown Flying Object, NASA Confirms
On Friday, NASA was able to successfully deliver four astronauts into orbit on board a SpaceX Crew Dragon starship, marking the first time that a manned mission took place using a reused rocket and spacecraft.
While the launch was a historical success, with the four astronauts from the United States, Japan and France reaching the International Space Station without any complications, there was a tense moment when they were warned of a potential collision with an unidentified flying object, or literal “UFO.”
While there was no time to perform an avoidance maneuver to avoid colliding with an object, the crew was informed that they should get into their pressurized suits to mitigate any harm in case of a collision, reports Futurism.
“The NASA/SpaceX team was informed of the possible conjunction by US Space Command,” said NASA spokesperson Kelly Humphries. “The object being tracked is classified as ‘unknown.’
“The possibility of the conjunction came so close to the closest approach time that there wasn’t time to compute and execute a debris avoidance maneuver with confidence, so the SpaceX team elected to have the crew don their pressure suits out of an abundance of caution,” Humphries added.
The space agency was notified by the Pentagon about the potential collision roughly seven hours after the launch of the spacecraft, according to U.S. Space Command spokesman Erin Dick.
“After further analysis, the 18th Space Control Squadron quickly determined there was no conjunction threat, all aboard are safe and the spacecraft was not at risk,” Dick said.
While the “UFO” hasn’t been precisely identified, the most likely explanation was that it was a piece of space junk – or one of a growing number of human-made pieces of junk like chunks of rockets and dead satellites that have been the subject of increasing concern over the years, with the European Space Agency hosting a major conference on space debris just last week.
Humphries notes that the object only came as close as 45 kilometers from the spacecraft, posing “no real danger to the crew or the spacecraft.”
Nevertheless, the small scare illustrates the potential havoc that could be caused by the increasingly litter-strewn low-Earth orbital space.
Scientists Create First-Ever Embryos With Monkey and Human Cells
For the first time, scientists have created embryos in a lab that contain the cells of both humans and monkeys.
Scientists hope that by creating chimeric embryos – embryos containing cells from two distinct species – they might be able to create organs for people who desperately need transplants.
Over 100,000 people in the United States lone are currently on a waiting list for organ transplants crucial to saving their lives, but the supply of donor organs has dropped significantly since the pandemic began unfolding.
Researchers have attempted to inject human stem cells into the embryos of pigs and sheep in recent years in hopes of growing organs for transplants, but this hasn’t yielded positive results. Scientists are hoping that by turning to macaque monkeys, which share a greater genetic similarity to humans, they may have more success.
In a study published Thursday in the journal Cell, researchers in the U.S. and China injected 25 pluripotent stem cells from humans into embryos from macaque monkeys.
After one day, the researchers detected human cells beginning to grow in 132 of the embryos. They embryos ultimately survived for 19 days.
However, bioethicists have raised concerns about the potential for abusing medical regulations that currently govern the treatment of animal and human subjects, as well as the possibility that a rogue scientists might potentially spike living creatures with human cells.
“My first question is: Why?” Kirstin Matthews, a science and technology fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, told NPR. “I think the public is going to be concerned, and I am as well, that we’re just kind of pushing forward with science without having a proper conversation about what we should or should not do.”
Researchers insist that the study serves purely humanitarian goals that could save countless lives in the future.
“This work is an important step that provides very compelling evidence that someday when we understand fully what the process is we could make them develop into a heart or a kidney or lungs,” said University of Michigan professor Jeffrey Platt, who was not involved in the study.
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