Darwin rolls out CCP surveillance tech

Via Epoch Times:

Australia is preparing to debut its version of the Chinese regime’s high-tech system for monitoring and controlling its citizens. The launch, to take place in the northern city of Darwin, will include systems to monitor people’s activity via their cell phones.

The new system is based on monitoring programs in Shenzhen, China, where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is testing its Social Credit System. Officials on the Darwin council traveled to Shenzhen, according to NT News, to “have a chance to see exactly how their Smart Technology works prior to being fully rolled out.”

In Darwin, they’ve already constructed “poles, fitted with speakers, cameras and Wi-Fi,” according to NT News, to monitor people, their movements around the city, the websites they visit, and what apps they use. The monitoring will be done mainly by artificial intelligence, but will alert authorities based on set triggers.

Just as in China, the surveillance system is being branded as a “smart city” program, and while Australian officials claim its operations are benign, they’ve announced it functions to monitor cell phone activity and “virtual fences” that will trigger alerts if people cross them.

“We’ll be getting sent an alarm saying, ‘There’s a person in this area that you’ve put a virtual fence around.’ … Boom, an alert goes out to whatever authority, whether it’s us or police to say ‘look at camera five,’” said Josh Sattler, the Darwin council’s general manager for innovation, growth, and development services, according to NT News.

The nature of the “virtual fences” and what type of activity will sound an alarm still isn’t being made clear.

The system is being promoted as mostly benign. Sattler said it will tell the government “where people are using Wi-Fi, what they’re using Wi-Fi for, are they watching YouTube, etc. All these bits of information we can share with businesses. … We can let businesses know, ‘Hey, 80 percent of people actually use Instagram within this area of the city, between these hours.’”

The CCP’s smart city Social Credit System is able to monitor each person in the society, tracking every element of their lives—including their friends, online purchases, daily behavior, and other information—and assigns each person a citizen score that determines their level of freedom in society.

The tool is a core piece of the CCP’s programs to monitor and persecute dissidents, including religious believers and people who oppose the ruling communist system.

Chinese human rights lawyer Teng Biao, a visiting scholar at New York University, described the Social Credit System as a new form of tyranny, meant to reactivate the CCP’s totalitarian hold on society.

“In the past, there was the Nazi totalitarianism and Mao Zedong’s totalitarian system, but a totalitarian system powered by the internet and contemporary technology has not existed before,” Teng said in a recent interview with The Epoch Times.

“The CCP is now taking the first step to build such a high-tech totalitarian system, by using credit ratings and monitoring and recording every detail in people’s daily life, which is very frightening.”

The regime also isn’t interested in keeping the technology within its own borders.

It’s exporting the system, and its “China model” of totalitarian government, as a service of its “One Belt, One Road” program. When the CCP builds its infrastructure abroad, its surveillance and social control programs are part of the package.

In Darwin, there has been a push to jump aboard the CCP’s program. The local officials made a “friendship” deal with Yuexiu District, in Guangzhou, China, in 2018. According to John Garrick, a senior lecturer at Charles Darwin University, the deal was branded by Chinese media as “part of President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative.”

That followed a previous deal between Darwin and the CCP, in which the city signed a 99-year lease of the Port of Darwin to a Chinese company and the CCP. The Chinese owner, Ye Cheng, had referred to the deal as being part of One Belt, One Road.

The deals also should raise concern for U.S. Marines stationed in Darwin,under the Obama-era pivot to the Pacific, about whether the CCP is able to monitor data collected on cell phones from its systems in the area. Under a 2011 deal between the United States and Australia, the U.S. troops will be there until 2040.

And of similar concern, the decision of Australia to begin implementing the CCP’s programs for totalitarian social control represents a major development in the CCP’s China model push.

As The Epoch Times has reported, the CCP views Australia as a testing ground for programs it wants to spread to the West. After Australia comes Canada, then the United States—in an apparent imitation of Mao Zedong’s strategy to “surround the cities with the countryside.”

All we’ll need is a change at the top and the system will be ready to go!

Houses and Holes
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  1. Just as San Francisco is about to ban face recognition tech in public, Australia invites the CCP in to.implement total control and the Australian public think climate change is the most important issue we have to deal with. Wow.

    • The mask will continue to slip as the elites struggle for control and the mismatch between the financialised economy and the rising energy cost of our heat engine world widens.

      The only possible counter apart from violence is for the governed to withdraw their consent to be governed by these compromised elites……it won’t be overt at first like in France but when the iron fist comes out we will have our yellow vests.

      All our private and public institutions have been thoroughly corrupted with cheap credit from central banks and no matter who has political power the percentage will get them. We have to go from a borrowed money nation to an earned money nation or the rentiers will continue to hold sway

      • Sadly I don’t think Australians have it in them to protest like the French. We will just continue to whinge as we watch large quantities of sport and reality television.

  2. invisiblehans

    I have worked in this sector, and this is a beat up.
    While it is trivial to monitor where your phone is if you have wifi turned on, it is impossible at local government level if you do not. And they can’t know who wifi signal ff3yr6w is unless you choose to tell them. The ability to track which websites you visit is only possible for this system if you choose to use their free wifi network (I,e, not the 4g network provided by your mobile telco) and you don’t use a VPN.
    These networks perform so badly the only people using them are tourists and the homeless.

    The “features” described already exist in any shopping mall, airport or stadium in Australia that offers free wifi, and Melbourne and Canberra and Adelaide have similar systems.

    The Chinese social credit system is dramatically more insidious, as it links public surveillance with online surveillance and ties it back to a government controlled record on the individual. This system does none of that.

    Of more concern is the government tracking meta data from ISPs and telcos, and opening crypto backdoors, but those horses are gone.

    • Not exactly a beat up with current tech. Firstly there’s a database of facial data – driver’s licences – readily available to local government. Current tech can also roughly estimate sex and age just from scanned faces. Then there is pretty good ability to link your position with a phone position, especially when both you and your phone are tracked together. Exact linkage (and separation from any other person/phone link) can usually be established within a day of tracking data. Your phone number is linked to a particular ‘physical’ address representing your SIM card by your Telco, which is how traffic gets routed at the final part of the journey to your device. With just a simple set of data, you can be tracked and understood. Now your data can be enriched in many ways. If you have a FaceBook account someone somewhere may have posted a photo and tagged you in it. Your friendship groups are available. You may have created a bank account or got a credit card – your details are available from the credit reference database. Without any effort we know your name, where you work, what vehicles you drive, identify family members and contacts… and I haven’t even got into Open Social Intelligence techniques…. because when one is openly tracked with cameras everywhere then it’s just not a challenge. As for your traffic – you know it’s monitored under the new legislation, even your encrypted traffic is supposed to be available – but not to local government yet – your only accurate point.

      • Yes, a partial beat up, well until they get full access to your ISP data. Still even partial is scary stuff.

        If Darwin did do this, or any other city, all Australians should boycott that city & the locals go all yellow vest.

    • I agree. Mobile data for Australians is so cheap and fast that there is no reason to use free wifi (which is often slower anyway). Plus wifi uses more battery than LTE.

  3. It is agreed by most thinking people that federal and state politicians are scum. In my humble opinion local council politicians are the worst of the worst.

    • Agreed, there is a council bloke who overloads our local farmers market and he’s a right cvnt. He has gone so far as to tell stall holders what they can and can’t sell. Basically, if two stall holders sell organic carrots, he’ll lean on one of them to stop selling them. Most stall holders are afraid to say anything, so he gets away with it. There have been stallholders that have called out his bullshite and he has backed right off, then basically becomes a little bitch and doesn’t even acknowledge them.

  4. Toronto has Googles Smart Cities system doing the same and more. It rumoured that that is also in test here. So it’s not just the Chinese at this, and it’s being sold as a benefit for councils, and Darwin is the first one. I know my council are as batsh1t crazy enough to install it regardless of what the rate payers say. It really is time to stand up to this, but MSM and the ABC will push for it IMO and not challenged by out pollies. How did this come to be ok to go full rogue on your citizens?

  5. MB: Please name the council people in Darwin and the senior officials behind this so we can all know who THEY are.

  6. Local Government is being targeted by China as a weak spot in our system, which it is. Only idiots go on council

  7. “…score that determines their level of freedom in society….”

    This fukcs me right off. Since when is freedom prescribed? *I* determine my freedom, not some sociopathic bureaucrat.

    This is not about prescribing freedom. It’s taking it away.

    • In Oz we don’t have freedoms or rights, just privileges…… The more the dominating narrative struggles, the more we’ll lose our privileges.

      • Yeah, fair point taken on the technicality. I’m not sure if you hinting at a Bill of Rights, or some equivalent? I’ve always been skeptical of such things. A Bill of Rights would simply shift power towards the judiciary branch. Is that something we want?
        The executive branch seems to be formed by a bunch of lunatics, so perhaps?

      • It’d probably be just changing horses pulling the same coach. The ‘preferred’ narrative is already controlled by all 4 horsemen of ‘civilisation’, Law, Executive, Banks & Enforcement – they all communicate & placate through the funnel of a pretentious Bernays, with the strong arm steadily limbering up behind it. The ever increasing monopolizing & moating on their global corporate level is clear to see, as is it’s steady corruption of the ‘sovereign’ who are there to foster it (not us) so it can shear us with ever less resistance……. Soon Multinationals won’t even have to hide behind the original horsemen.

        Perhaps now it’s just a case that the new mob they helped grow (to exploit their cheap labour) is starting to flex for a larger part of the action it’s becoming apparent that they didn’t really want to share with the uncouth after all. Maybe it’s a global version of Fascism Vs Mercantilist totalitarianism. Either way it turns out Stephen Morris’s excerpts on refeudalism seem prescient. Freedom is an illusion but I guess there’s degrees……

  8. Surveillance capitalism at work.
    Welcome to the George’s World.
    Even in wait a while Perth is using facial recognition. Soon every movement in the public and semi public spaces will be tracked, observed by the invisible eyes on the poles…

  9. No real loss, no one visits Darwin, after the Inpex LNG project demobilized the place is a overpriced ghost town which demands air services on similar to one of the state capital cities, but in reality has the population of a regional town in NSW. It’s a common saying up there overseas tourists only visit the place once, to see the crocs at Crocosaurus Cove and to visit Kakadu
    The American marines when visiting stay at the base, on the odd occasions when there are sizable numbers, everyone knows they are in town, the middle kingdom does not need this high tech equipment to spy, they can just pay to get a email or phone call from overseas student working a taxi or at a seven-eleven.

    • BubbleyMEMBER

      Lol Thallus – as a long term MB subscriber and Darwin resident. I’d say “them thar are fighting words” but I’m not going to fight with a vegetable.
      Definition of thallus
      : a plantlike vegetative body (as of algae, fungi, or mosses) that lacks differentiation into distinct parts (such as stem, leaves, and roots) and does not grow from an apical point

    • I’m still amazed at the amount of people who are openly comfortable and defenders of this idea. These people tend not to know that it’s a quote from one of history’s greatest monsters in Joseph Goebbels.

      “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”

  10. This is just an electronic extension of what was going on in the USSR in the 80’s. Anytime you saw a mirror there it was a sure bet that someone was on the other side of it watching you with a walkie talkie in their hand – ‘papers please’ by some ‘random’ occurred daily! My how the pendulum swings……..

  11. I for one would like to welcome our new AI overlords. Humans have failed, once the machines assume control I look forward to enjoying our new logic based utopia. Huzzah!

  12. This is my City and I’m disgusted.
    1: ditch the “smart” phone
    2: Have Umbrella up and open all the time while in area
    3: Make a Faraday type liner for my laptop bag
    4: walk around continuously giving the middle finger
    5: Never take off sunnies
    6: deactivate FB and linkedin.
    7: wear a hat all the time with a foil lining….
    8: protest to idiot traitor council representatives
    9: ??? any more ideas?
    10: Maybe relocate?

  13. Unless everyone wears a tinfoil hat you’ll stand out.

    And if they find it insufficient they’ll step it up……
    Sand fingerprints. MJ your face & skin colour.
    Change all physical habits, walk differently……..
    Change your voice pattern.
    Insert a random fire pacemaker to change heartbeat signature?
    Shave your body, wear a hazmat overall to mute DNA?

    You should be able to freely roam your city unnoticed after that…….?

  14. DingwallMEMBER

    Just tried to contact ANZ and they have the useless voice recognition system that DOES NOT RECOGNISE ANYTHING (sorry I did not quite understand … could you repeat that)
    Anyway I finally got sent through to yet another option system still thinking I just need to speak to a real person…….

    Option 1: Do you need to place a trade?
    Options 2: Do you need help with blah blah blah ?
    Option 3: Do you need help with blah blah blah derivative trading?
    Option 4: Do you need help with blah blah blah options trading?
    Option 5: Would you like to speak to a customer consultant (…. OMG yes ………….) in Chinese?
    To hear these options again press 9. What the absolute F&*k?

    Well the banks, like Darwin council, know where their bread is buttered I suppose……….

    • ArthurMEMBER

      In my limited experience, you can usually get out of the menu nightmare by inputting a whole bunch of stuff the system doesn’t recognise. It can be just a nonsensical combination of letters and numbers from the keyboard, or bizarre sounds (a whistle can work). Sometimes just talking on and on and ignoring the menu options completely will work. Most systems have a fall back option that puts you through to a human when the system is hopelessly confused.

      • DingwallMEMBER

        Yea but why are Chinese speakers the only ones given the direct access to an operator option? …. in the end I refused to press any button and it eventually let me speak to an operator? Who then proceeded to tell me if I wanted a replacement statement either mailed or emailed, it would cost $11 ….. I told him to stick his $11 bucks into the fund to get an operator to answer the phone…….

      • ArthurMEMBER

        @Dingy. Possibly the chinese are the only race so indoctrinated that they won’t try to hack the menu system? Joke (smile)

  15. BubbleyMEMBER

    This is very amusing because everyone presumes the council knows what the hell its doing.

    The reason why 70% of the IT guys in Darwin are here, is because they can’t get jobs anywhere else.

    If they can make it work… if they can sort through the data… if they can make any sense of the masses of information… I’ll be very surprised.

    • Don’t worry. The Chinese vendors have support staff that can hand hold during setup. In fact they have a direct internet connection to make that as efficient as possible.

      • BubbleyMEMBER

        You’ve got me laughing, snorting and shaking my head at the same time

        Why? because it’s true.