China can find criminals, dissidents in seven minutes

Harold Pease Ph.D.
Harold Pease, Ph.D.

Harold W. Pease, Ph.D., Special to Anza Valley Outlook

“If you have nothing to hide. You have nothing to fear!” This is the message governments have told their people from time immemorial, especially tyrants of socialist countries: Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot. All designed to paralyze freedom buffs of every nation.

Today Communist China watches people more than any other country on earth reportedly from high-tech surveillance technology often obtained in part from Google. Cameras are everywhere and recording everything that happens in many big cities, as for example the city of Guiyang, China, which boasts that they can find anyone in seven minutes in their vast population of 3.4 million residents, according to YouTube video, “In Your Face: China’s All-Seeing State.” If you fear big government, such surveillance, thus far less implemented in America but coming, will terrify you.

This video begins with a camera in the sky scanning Guiyang, China. According to the script embedded in the scan, “China is building the world’s largest and most sophisticated camera surveillance system.”

The camera zooms to a central control building.

In Guiyang, China, the police demonstrated how their surveillance works. Inside police headquarters, a camera scans a giant room seating many people and surrounded by intelligence-gathering technology. The targeted individual’s data is displayed on the walls in front.

Their vast digital catalog contains the image of every Guiyang resident. A photo of a fake criminal testing the system, John Sudworth, BBC correspondent, is taken and entered into the computer.

Sudworth said, “Well, let us see how long it takes you to find me. Thank you very much. Let’s go.”

The correspondent, now as a criminal, leaves the police station to wander about the city. At a preset time, later that day, the search for him begins. Time passes allowing him to go wherever he wishes.

According to the film script, “Across China cameras with artificial intelligence are in widespread use.”

Cameras are shown getting facial recognition of everyone moving in the city in its search for a target.

“Some can read faces, others can estimate age, ethnicity and gender,” according to the script.

Cameras are shown doing so.

Viewers are next taken inside a huge factory making cameras. For those who value liberty, one day freedom itself could be against the law, as it is in China, thus the following is especially horrifying.

The film script continued, “This factory in Hangzhou has sold 1 million facial recognition cameras in China. We can match every face with an ID card and trace all your movements back one week in time. We can match your face with your car. Match you with your relatives and the people you’re in touch with. With enough cameras, we can know who you frequently meet.”

Cameras are shown doing everything mentioned, searching every face in the city for the one dissident or criminal and taking shots of every person multidirectionally, even how they walk.

Sudworth said, “Well, here we are. I just got out of the car close to the city center, and for the purposes of this exercise, the plan is for me to start walking in the direction of the bus station. My image has already been flagged to the authorities as a suspect, and in theory, it should only be a matter of time.”

As Sudworth walks around, he notices the cameras about him.

“So already on this bridge. I can see one, two, three CCTV cameras. Of course, there is no point hiding from them. Just keep on walking,” he said in the film.

Life-size scenes in the police control room show their ability to zoom in on him as the cameras find him.

According to the film script in Chinese, “When the system recognizes a face, the control room raises the alarm.”

Sudworth sees the police as they approach him from all directions.

“Right behind me you can see over my shoulder there. ‘Hello guys, I’ve been expecting you.’ Maybe these guys aren’t in on the joke,” he said.

According to the film script, “The exercise took just seven minutes.”

Yan, Guiyang policewoman, policewoman said in the film, “For ordinary people, we will only extract their data when they need our help. When they don’t need help, we won’t gather their data, and it remains only in our big database. We only use it when needed.”

While she speaks, a vast electronic filing data system is shown.

The BBC correspondent said, “If you have nothing to hide. You have nothing to fear.”

The female Chinese officer smiles and responds, “Yes that’s true. Citizens don’t need to worry.”

But citizens do need to worry, especially Americans. All tyrannical governments, of which China is one, want to know of, and round up, those who oppose them. Otherwise the American Revolution, which gave people the Declaration of Independence and liberty would have never gotten off the ground. No government should have surveillance sufficient to know what their people are doing at all times nor the power to locate and round up dissidents as viewed in this video. King George III would have loved rounding up his dissidents, the Founding Fathers, in seven minutes.

Dr. Harold W. Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and to applying that knowledge to current events. He taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, visit