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]."

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

The ultimate law enforcement agency guide to going mobile

Best practices for implementing a mobile device program

Free download

The business value of Red Hat OpenShift

Platform cost savings, ROI, and the challenges and opportunities of Red Hat OpenShift

Free download

Managing security and risk across the IT supply chain: A practical approach

Best practices for IT supply chain security

Free download

Digital remote monitoring and dispatch services’ impact on edge computing and data centres

Seven trends redefining remote monitoring and field service dispatch service requirements

Free download

Recommended

CISA, FBI and NSA publish BlackMatter ransomware warning
ransomware

CISA, FBI and NSA publish BlackMatter ransomware warning

19 Oct 2021
US links $5.2 billion in Bitcoin transactions to ransomware
ransomware

US links $5.2 billion in Bitcoin transactions to ransomware

18 Oct 2021
Microsoft mitigated 'largest ever' 2.4Tbps DDoS attack
distributed denial of service (DDOS)

Microsoft mitigated 'largest ever' 2.4Tbps DDoS attack

12 Oct 2021
TSMC vows not to share sensitive customer data following US request
Policy & legislation

TSMC vows not to share sensitive customer data following US request

7 Oct 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
What is cyber warfare?
Security

What is cyber warfare?

15 Oct 2021
HPE wins networking contract with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Network & Internet

HPE wins networking contract with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

15 Oct 2021