China has one of the world’s most restrictive media environments, relying on censorship to control information in the news, online, and on social media. Apart from this, it is also perfecting a vast network of digital espionage as a means of social control.
China invests heavily in surveillance of its own citizens to exercise total control and overcome its perceived threats from the subversive power of the internet. Some China insiders have long known that Huawei is part of the well oiled underground machinery of CCP (Chinese Communist Party).
Huawei toes the party line in persecuting Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong), an exercise and meditation practice based on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. They are the largest group of innocent people to be persecuted for the last twenty two years. In fact, you could say the surveillance system used today on every internet user was perfected after a dry run on the group practicing Falun Gong. Their phones were tapped and their internet accounts hacked. Huawei has helped put in place the tools used by the Chinese regime to track Chinese citizens and censor what information they can access, thus enabling the persecution.
Since July 1999, then Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Jiang Zemin put a ban on Falun Gong and began a campaign to eradicate Falun Gong out of fear of the large numbers of Chinese who found its traditional moral teachings more attractive than the party’s atheist ideology.
Huawei has done far more in the persecution of Falun Gong than simply policing its own employees. It has developed tools that should be of concern to everyone around the world, not just the practitioners of Falun Gong in China.
While the West has only recently recognised the potential security threat posed by Huawei, insiders from China have known long ago that it is a tool of the Chinese Communist Party. For example, the tech giant toes the party line very closely on issues like the persecution of Falun Gong (a.k.a. Falun Dafa).
Spying on its own citizens
An internal document from Huawei, written in 2015, was leaked and circulated on the internet. The file was entitled “VCM (video content management) Operation Guide” and was used to train the Chinese regime’s internet police on how to monitor, analyse, and process video content in real time. The police were expected to send out alerts should they find anything “suspicious.”
According to Chinese commentator Chen Simin, this leaked document shows Huawei’s deep involvement with the CCP’s surveillance programs “Golden Shield Project” and “Skynet System.” The former is used to block access to information while the latter is used for surveillance of the whole society.
By blocking information, the CCP aims to prevent its citizens from learning about the massive violations of human rights carried out in the persecution of Falun Gong, as well as the teachings of the practice. The surveillance tools are used for many purposes including the tracking of Falun Gong practitioners.
Chen said that the initial demands for the Golden Shield Project came from the Public Security Bureau and the 610 Office, the Communist Party executive commission tasked with carrying out the persecution of Falun Gong.
Huawei has set off alarm bells ringing
Huawei has very large operations in many countries and is slated to play a major role in the 5G rollout. This is a matter of grave concern and has set off alarm bells ringing! Whereas, Japan bans its government staff from using Huawei devices, Australia and New Zealand recently banned Huawei from building 5G networks and the UK has made the firm submit to special security checks.
A report, prepared by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), which comes under the ministry, analysed cyber attacks from April-June 2018. The cyber attacks from China made up 35% of the total number of cyber attacks on official Indian websites, followed by US (17%), Russia (15%), Pakistan (9%), Canada (7%) and Germany (5%).
China’s authoritarian regime has sought to cover up a mass killings campaign it willingly engineered, to ‘eradicate’ millions of Falun Gong disciples in China. Though the meditation practice is banned in China, Falun Gong quickly spread to over 100 countries in the world and practiced by over 100 million people.
People who practice Falun gong in China are killed alive for their organs which are put up for sale. Nowhere else in the world can anyone get an organ for transplant, in less than 2 weeks! In China, you can because people who practise Falun Gong are killed on demand.
China’s experiments with digital surveillance pose a grave new threat to freedom of expression on the internet and other human rights in China. In 2016, Freedom House ranked China last for the second consecutive year out of sixty-five countries that represent 88 percent of the world’s internet users.
With China’s surveillance know-how and equipment now flowing to the world, critics warn that it could help underpin a future of tech-driven authoritarianism, potentially leading to a loss of privacy on an industrial scale. Often described as public security systems, the technologies have slowly turned into tools of political repression.