China: The New and Future Global Face of the Surveillance StateVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Please note that this program takes place offsite at Junior League, 1811 Briar Oaks Lane, Houston, Texas 77027. Free parking is available at the venue.
By 2020, experts estimate China will have installed almost 300 million surveillance cameras and will spend upwards of $30 billion in the coming years on a wide variety of surveillance technologies often augmented by artificial intelligence, such as facial recognition, DNA profiling, iris scanning, voice recognition, and the monitoring of internet and phone usage.
China states these advancements reduce crime and strengthen public order. Large digital billboards in some cities show the faces and names of jaywalkers and people who have unpaid debts. These ever-expanding surveillance systems are also an effective means to monitor political dissent.
In addition, media sources report that these methods are used to profile minorities. In the majority Muslim province of Xinjiang, an estimated 1 million Uighurs have been designated and held in re-education camps. In other parts of China, the technology allows for a form of automated racial and ethnic profiling. Certain facial recognition systems have been developed exclusively to look for and identify ethnically Uighur individuals.
Beyond China, government-backed Chinese companies are selling billions of dollars' worth of surveillance systems to nations such as Venezuela, Germany, Kenya, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates. While technology was once seen as a tool to expand democracy and equality, many now fear it may become the strongest weapon against them.
Tickets must be purchased through the World Affairs Council website here. Asia Society members can use the discount code ASTC at checkout for free admission to this event.
6:30 p.m. Registration
7 p.m. Program
About the Speaker
Emile Dirks is an independent researcher and PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto. His research focuses on extrajudicial detention, state surveillance and drug policy in contemporary China. A Mandarin speaker, his articles have appeared in Foreign Policy, The Globe, and Mail and The Diplomat.
Asia Society Texas Center Business & Policy Programs, Endowed by
Business and Policy programs at Asia Society Texas Center are presented by Bank of America, Muffet Blake, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, United Airlines, and Wells Fargo. Major support comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy Pollok Guinee, and Mary Lawrence Porter, as well as The Brown Foundation, Inc. and Houston Endowment. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Asia Society Texas Center, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing the best in public programming.
Business & Policy Presenting Sponsors
1811 Briar Oaks Lane
Houston, Texas 77027