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Chinese firms are driving the rise of AI surveillance across Africa


Artificial intelligence technology is proliferating fast across the world and is being deployed in applications from speech recognition to deepfake videos and monitoring traffic congestion. It's also increasingly being used to monitor and track citizens, according to a new report. At least 75 out of 176 nations surveyed globally are actively using AI technologies for surveillance purposes, according to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. These include facial recognition systems, smart policing tools, and the establishment of safe city platforms. The leading vendors of these systems globally are Chinese firms, led by Huawei, which has supplied these technologies to at least 50 states worldwide.

Report says AI is helping countries watch its citizens more


Confirming popular perception that we are being watched, a report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said that more countries, led by China, are deploying artificial intelligence to monitor the whereabouts of its citizens. According to the report, at least 75 of 176 countries globally are actively using AI technologies for surveillance purposes. The report said 56 countries are using smart city/safe city platforms, 64 are using facial recognition systems, and 52 are using smart policing. China's strong technological base is an enabling factor in the growth of AI surveillance. The report noted that Technology linked to Chinese companies--particularly Huawei, Hikvision, Dahua, and ZTE--supply AI surveillance technology in 63 countries, with Huawei alone is responsible for providing AI surveillance technology to at least 50 countries worldwide.

Huawei surveillance: Chinese snooping tech seen spreading to nations vulnerable to abuse, keeping tabs on trouble-makers

The Japan Times

BELGRADE – When hundreds of video cameras with the power to identify and track individuals started appearing in the streets of Belgrade as part of a major surveillance project, some protesters began having second thoughts about joining anti-government demonstrations in the Serbian capital. Local authorities assert the system, created by Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, helps reduce crime in the city of 2 million. Critics contend it erodes personal freedoms, makes political opponents vulnerable to retribution and even exposes the country's citizens to snooping by the Chinese government. The cameras, equipped with facial recognition technology, are being rolled out across hundreds of cities around the world, particularly in poorer countries with weak track records on human rights where Beijing has increased its influence through big business deals. With the United States claiming that Chinese state authorities can get backdoor access to Huawei data, the aggressive rollout is raising concerns about the privacy of millions of people in countries with little power to stand up to China.

Research group says AI surveillance expanding worldwide following China's lead

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – A research group says a growing number of countries are following China's lead in deploying artificial intelligence to track citizens. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace says at least 75 countries are actively using AI tools such as facial recognition for surveillance. The list of countries where some form of AI surveillance is used includes liberal democracies such as the United States and France as well as more autocratic regimes. Tuesday's report from the group says Chinese tech companies led by Huawei are supplying much of the AI surveillance to countries around the world. Other companies such as Japan's NEC Corporation and U.S.-based IBM, Palantir and Cisco are also major international providers of AI surveillance tools.

AI surveillance proliferating, with China exporting tech to over 60 countries, NEC 14 and IBM 11: report

The Japan Times

Chinese companies have exported artificial intelligence surveillance technology to more than 60 countries including Iran, Myanmar, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and others with dismal human rights records, according to a report by a U.S. think tank. With the technology involving facial recognition systems that the Communist Party uses to crack down on Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in China's far western Xinjiang region, the report calls Beijing a global driver of "authoritarian tech." The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace released the report amid concerns that authoritarian regimes would use the technology to boost their power and data could be sent back to China. "Technology linked to Chinese companies -- particularly Huawei, Hikvision, Dahua and ZTE -- supply AI surveillance technology in 63 countries, 36 of which have signed onto China's Belt and Road Initiative," it said. Critics say the BRI, President Xi Jinping's signature cross-border infrastructure project, is intended to draw countries in Asia, Africa and Europe deeper into Beijing's economic orbit.