“Josh Chin and Liza Lin have given us a truly groundbreaking investigation of China’s embrace of digital surveillance. The global scope and deep detail of their account retires the notion of an ‘all-seeing’ surveillance as some future scenario; it is happening already. They will open your eyes to the astonishing intersection of data, politics, and the human body. Anyone who cares about the future of technology, of China, or of free will cannot afford to miss this.”
—Evan Osnos, The New Yorker
Join authors Josh Chin & Liza Lin for an in-person discussion on life in China’s burgeoning surveillance state. They will be joined in conversation by Xiao Qiang (Berkeley).
September 14 @ Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco
Doors open at 6:30pm, discussion starts at 7pm.
People living in democracies have for decades drawn comfort from the notion that their form of government, for all its flaws, is the best history has managed to produce. In SURVEILLANCE STATE: Inside China’s Quest to Launch a New Era of Social Control (St. Martin’s Press; September 6, 2022), award-winning journalists Josh Chin and Liza Lin (Wall Street Journal) document with startling detail how China’s Communist Party is striving for something new: a political model that shapes the will of the people not through the ballot box but through the sophisticated—and often brutal—harnessing of data.
Registration is free for the in-person event.
Purchase a copy of Surveillance State at registration to be signed by the authors at the event. You can also purchase unsigned copies from The Booksmith, our local bookshop in the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, to be delivered to you, or from your own local bookstore.
Book Talk: Surveillance State
Authors Josh Chin and Liza Lin
September 14 @ 7pm PT
IN-PERSON @ the Internet Archive, 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco
Registration is required! Register now
Josh Chin and Liza Lin have given us a truly groundbreaking investigation of China’s embrace of digital surveillance.
No doubt the Chinese are taking notes from the Americans, who have been teaching the world for the past two decades what a surveillance state should look like.
It is worth recalling that when the Chinese were erecting their Great Firewall, it was the Americans who sold them the technology needed to make it possible.
(Incidentally, anyone planning on attending this event to criticise the Chinese surveillance state should be aware: “Proof of vaccination required.” It is interesting that the organisers of an event to criticise another country’s surveillance state are seemingly unaware what a splendid tool for social control vaccine mandates are in their own [even the Chinese, for all their faults, have backed off from vaccine mandates for public venues].)
The Chinese government’s “character score” system will probably be adopted by America, as a softer form of law enforcement. Even jaywalking will lower your score, when you get caught by cameras and facial recognition.
Is there an online version for those wishing to attend but unable to travel?
The “People living in democracies…” lead-in seems to setup an implication that China has a “democracy” and that data-driven control can be expected to be adopted in other “democracies”, and somehow make them worse as political systems. But the premise is flawed; China is not a democracy in any real sense, and data-driven control is not much different in the end from the velvet-coated chains of our system of advertising and social-media based control.
But perhaps I might hear something that challenges that assessment if I were able to attend. So another strong +1 for a remote option!