US blacklists Chinese surveillance firms over Uyghur Muslim abuse

The US stops trade with 28 entities which targeted Uyghur Muslims with AI surveillance tech

The US has added 28 Chinese organisations to the Entity List for their suspected involvement in human rights and privacy violations against Muslim minority groups, particularly the Uyghur.

As a result, the action will prohibit trade between the 28 entities and US companies.

The Department of Commerce has not specified reasons for blacklisting the organisations, apart from ruling that they were "acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States".

Among the trade-blocked companies are Hikvision and Dahua Technology, two of the world's largest video surveillance suppliers and manufacturers that have been implicated in AI surveillance operations and data collection against Muslim minorities.

The Department of Commerce's report stated: "Specifically, these entities have been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China's campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the XUAR [Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region]."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Hikvision and Dahua Technology, along with other blacklisted companies, have allegedly perpetuated automated discrimination against Muslim minorities by supplying AI technology found in the robotic dove drones used to secretly monitor the XUAR.

China has also monitored minority WeChat conversations, implemented biased high-speed facial recognition cameras in their milieu, and collected their biometric data such as DNA, voice, and fingerprint samples.

As of August 2018, up to one million Muslim minorities, about 10% of the region's Muslim population, had been detained in western Xinjiang camps to undergo "reeducation" programs, which entailed memorisation of Communist Party propaganda and renunciation of Islam.

China maintains that the detainment centers are merely "vocational training centers" to deradicalise Uyghur "separatists, terrorists, and religious extremists".

The Department of Commerce's ruling comes just before the trade talks scheduled to take place in Washington this week, which will certainly slow down the deal-making process, but may also put pressure on the rise of high-tech authoritarianism and the automation of systematic abuse in China.

Featured Resources

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/technology/artificial-intelligence-ai/354510/how-bank-of-america-uses-ai-to-improve-customer
artificial intelligence (AI)

How Bank of America uses AI to improve customer service and take on competitors

22 Jan 2020
Visit/business-strategy/careers-training/354596/the-tech-skills-you-need-to-succeed-in-the-us
Careers & training

The tech skills you need to succeed in the US

21 Jan 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/data-protection/354454/box-ceo-most-internet-users-will-ditch-privacy-for-online
data protection

Box CEO: Most internet users will ditch privacy for online services

3 Jan 2020
Visit/business/business-strategy/354445/what-tech-does-it-take-to-make-a-business-succeed-in-the-us
Business strategy

What tech does it take to make a business succeed in the US?

3 Jan 2020

Most Popular

Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Visit/microsoft-windows/32066/what-to-do-if-youre-still-running-windows-7
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/354577/data-protection-fines-hit-ps100m
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Data protection fines hit £100m during first 18 months of GDPR

20 Jan 2020