by Kaye Beach
Why was HB 2569, a good bill that would have protected Oklahoma residents from the risks and insecurities of RFID technology being embedded in required identification documents such as state driver’s licenses and state ID cards vetoed?
It appears as though the same industry lobbyists that are helping China to enslave its citizens are also involved in killing HB 2569. Here is the letter Richard Chace, the CEO of the Security Industry Association, wrote to Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry urging him to veto the bill. And here is SIA’s press release bragging about their successful intervention in state politics to further their cause.
Why do I have trouble believing that the SIA, a powerful industry lobbying group, is concerned about the privacy and security of Oklahoma residents?
Robin Huang, the chief operating officer of China Public Security says;
“All of these U.S. companies work with us to build our system together.”
Besides mucking about in state government to secure corporate financial interests to the detriment or our personal security, Richard Chace plies his skills on an international level helping the Chinese government implement the tools of technological tyranny.
“This report underscores that the Olympic Games not only showcase world-class athletes, they showcase world-class security technologies and services from our industry,” says Richard Chace, SIA executive director and CEO. “People across the globe will be wondering how one of the world’s premier events will deal with security threats and issues. SIA’s China Olympic Security Update goes a long way toward answering those questions.”
The Olympic Update is a companion piece to SIA’s China Security Market Report, the definitive analysis of China’s electronic security market. That report provides an in-depth analysis of the social and economic factors driving demand; the size and growth of the Chinese security industry, including a forecast through 2010; and the size and growth of 11 vertical markets. In December 2007, SIA will release an additional update on the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.
Our Governor finds Mr. Chace’s rational about the necessity of RFID in our ID documents more compelling than all of the security experts, civil liberty and privacy advocates, industry insiders, government officials and agencyklahoma Representatives and their constituency. commissions not to mention the O
I am completely disgusted.
Here are a couple of stories that give us an idea of how techno-repression appears in the modern police state;
With the help of U.S. defense contractors, China is
building the prototype for a high-tech police state.
It is ready for export.
China Enacting a High-Tech Plan to Track People
SHENZHEN, China, Aug. 9 — At least 20,000 police surveillance cameras are being installed along streets here in southern China and will soon be guided by sophisticated computer software from an American-financed company to recognize automatically the faces of police suspects and detect unusual activity.
Starting this month in a port neighborhood and then spreading across Shenzhen, a city of 12.4 million people, residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips programmed by the same company will be issued to most citizens.
Data on the chip will include not just the citizen’s name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord’s phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China’s controversial “one child” policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card.
Security experts describe China’s plans as the world’s largest effort to meld cutting-edge computer technology with police work to track the activities of a population and fight crime. But they say the technology can be used to violate civil rights.
What companies are helping China realize the dreams of despots?
[. . .] many U.S. (and multinational) technology companies may be knowingly selling Chinese authorities the surveillance equipment used to commit or facilitate human rights abuses. We think it’s high time to pay attention to them as well.
The “Corporations of Interest”
Drawing from published news articles, EFF has compiled a list of seven corporations that are reportedly selling surveillance technology to the Chinese government and related entities. We’re designating them “corporations of interest”.
Of course, news articles alone are not absolute evidence that these companies are indeed fostering repression in China. But it’s clear that China uses technology to employ rampant censorship, invasive data collection and intimidation. Learning exactly what is going on, especially in the Chinese environment of state secrecy and propaganda, is difficult. But news reports, especially those that include admissions of some level of involvement from company officials, are a sufficient basis to begin asking further questions.
- Cisco: Cisco’s deep involvement in the building of China’s Golden Shield Project has been admitted by the company. Cisco’s involvement has even already been raised before Congress, including the fact that Cisco engineers gave a presentation acknowledging the repressive uses for their technology that quoted their Chinese government buyers as saying that Cisco’s products could be used to “combat ‘Falun Gong’ evil religion and other hostiles.” The UK’s Guardian reports that Cisco provides over 60% of all routers, switches, and network gear to China and estimates that Cisco makes $500 million annually from China.
- Nortel: Rolling Stone and The Guardian report that Nortel has sold hardware to aid the Golden Shield Project for surveillance and censorship purposes, including working with Tsinghua University to develop speech recognition software to monitor telephone conversations.
- Oracle: Business Week reports that Oracle has sold software to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security for criminal and ideological investigations. Oracle admits that one-third of its business in China is with the government.
- Motorola: Business Week also reports that Motorola sold the Chinese authorities handheld devices for street cops to tap into “sophisticated data repositories” on Chinese citizens.
- EMC: Business Week also reports that EMC sold “sophisticated data repositories” to the Chinese public security authorities. The top EMC executive in Beijing is quoted as saying, “We can expect big revenue from public security agencies” in China.
- Sybase: Business Week also reports that Sybase sells database programs to the Shanghai police.
- L-1 Identity Solutions: Rolling Stone reports that this Connecticut-based biometrics company sold software to Chinese companies that aids government officials in identifying individuals for purposes of criminal investigations.
The question of which companies have assisted in Chinese surveillance is just a small piece of a very large puzzle and we’re quite confident that there are more than just these seven. And obviously many countries other than China are engaged in Internet surveillance — from Iran’s infamous repression of political dissent, to censorship efforts across the globe, to the USA’s own domestic surveillance architecture. Corporate complicity in these efforts is equally deserving of scrutiny.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that surveillance is only part of the equation. Other technologies created or sold by companies may also be misused by the Chinese authorities. For instance, Internet censorship systems curtail civil liberties almost as severely as Internet surveillance systems. Research by the OpenNet Initiative has shown that censorship systems in many repressive countries have been outsourced to U.S. corporations.