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Wednesday, 15 August 2007

China outdoes itself with unprecedented surveillance initiative

The Chinese government, long-renowned for its tolerance, unobtrusive law-making, and general good vibes, has announced plans to begin outfitting its citizens with a new kind of ID card; one with an embedded chip that will include the holder's name, address, work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord's phone number.

The cards will also carry reproductive history information, to further aid authorities in enforcing China's "one child" policy.

Ostensibly, the cards will keep track of the large influx of peasants moving to cities, though Michael Lin, VP of China Public Security Technology, went on (in Orwellian fashion) to say; "If they do not get the permanent card, they cannot live here, they cannot get government benefits, and that is a way for the government to control the population in the future." Engadget