Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st Feb 2018 19:29 UTC
Internet & Networking

China's most popular messaging app, WeChat, has always had a close relationship with the Chinese government. The app has been subsidized by the government since its creation in 2011, and it's an accepted reality that officials censor and monitor users. Now, WeChat is poised to take on an even greater role: an initiative is underway to integrate WeChat with China's electronic ID system.

WeChat is a remarkably clever move by the Chinese government. Everybody over there is already using it, and by basically co-opting it, they get a free statewide monitoring and control platform. Ban a few western alternatives here and there, and you're done. Western nations are toying with similar ideas - see e.g. Germany's new laws - and it doesn't take a genius to see the dangers here. While you may 'trust' your current government to not abuse such wide-ranging laws and technical capabilities, you might not be so eager with the next one. If Americans can vote for a Trump, Europeans can, too.

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RE[3]: Choose your poison
by imthefrizzlefry on Fri 2nd Feb 2018 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Choose your poison"
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As an American who frequently visits China, I would say China is the future. When you look at all the cameras in London, you know they are hooked up to a facial recognition databases (just like in China). When you hear about the "right to be forgotten" you know it is silencing political dissent (just like in China). All it takes is for a few million people to support one power hungry person to turn all this "anti-terrorist" and "anti-hate speech" authority into a machine of oppression.

So, I think China is an excellent place to look to see the future of liberal western nations. After all, the political pendulum swings both ways, and anybody can end up with a Trump.

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