Friday, October 30, 2020

Live Not by Lies, Excerpt

 "Television cameras are ubiquitous on Chinese streets, recording the daily comings and goings of the nation's people. Beijing's software is so advanced that it can easily check facial scans against the central security database. If a citizen enters an area forbidden to him--a church, say--or even if a person is merely walking in the opposite direction of a crowd, the system automatically records it and alerts the police.

"In theory, police don't have to show up at the suspect's door to make him pay for his disobedience. China's social credit system automatically tracks the words and actions, online and off, of every Chinese citizen, and grants rewards or demerits based on obedience. A Chinese who does something socially positive--helping an elderly neighbor with a chore, or listening to a speech of leader Xi Jinping--receives points toward a higher social credit score. On the other hand, one who does something negative--letting his or her dog poop on the sidewalk, for example, or making a snarky comment on social media--suffers a social credit downgrade.

"Because digital life, including commercial transactions, is automatically monitored, Chinese with high social credit ratings gain privileges. Those with lower scores find daily life harder. They aren't allowed to buy high-speed train tickets or take flights. Doors close to certain restaurants. Their children may not be allowed to go to college. They may lose their job and have a difficult time finding a new one. And a social credit scofflaw will find himself isolated, as the algorithmic system downgrades those who are connected to the offender."

    --Live Not by Lies: A Manuel for Christian Dissidents, by Rob Dreher

Open Doors USA found a number of "[g]overnments using artificial intelligence systems to monitor citizens and keep them in line."

More on Christian persecution in China:

The Chinese Communist Murder of John Birch 75 Years Later

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