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Apr
27

How China Uses its Cyber Power for Internal Security

From: The Diplomat

This is the first in a series of 5 articles discussing IT as a means to solidify Communist Party rule in the country.

By Greg Austin

On April 13, the China’s Communist Party (CCP) and State Council issued new guidelines on strengthening internal security in the wake of unprecedented terrorist attacks inside the country, rising public order concerns, and increasing online dissent. The guidelines called out the use of new high-technology and cyber-based assets, including data mining, closed circuit TV, and satellites, to help restore central government control. This is the first in a series of five brief items by Greg Austin, based on his 2014 book, Cyber Policy in China, providing some political context on how the country is using its cyber power in the service of internal security. See also the author’s earlier post on how China will want to use artificial intelligence to support its internal security objectives.

Part I: The National Database as a Security Tool

In new guidelines on internal security issued on April 13, 2015, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the State Council reiterated a measure announced last year to put the national citizens’ database to better use in internal security. For a country already deemed to be one of the most authoritarian in the world and possessing adequate technology already to allow the use of a nation-wide system of electronic identification cards (e-IDs) linked to a central database as a major tool in internal security, it is surprising that China is far from perfecting this database or its e-ID system into the Orwellian devices that they might become.

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