China Begins a New High-tech War on Muslims

Microsoft is accused of persecution of Muslims.

China’s surveillance has been the topic of many news reports, but this latest expansion is raising alarms and eyebrows. While China has made it no secret they are watching their citizens more closely, the latest round of surveillance is taking a new and somewhat frightening appearance. Specifically, Muslims are being targeted by the Chinese government for tracking in horrible and invasive ways.

The million or so Muslims living in Uighur are being targeted and tracked by the Chinese government in a unique way. All the adults in this area are being told to submit to fingerprint, voice, and face scans that will be a part of China’s ongoing measures to track people. However, the fact that a single religious minority is being tracked hints at a darker vein in an already scary track.

Many of the people who are living in Uighur, a section of China with many minorities, are undergoing even more invasive tests and tracking as well. Even their smartphone activity is being checked while they travel to certain points within Xinjiang. This has already led to many Muslims being detained, questioned, and tortured for supposed transgressions against the nation. However, the transgressions supposedly committed have ranged from simple actions like traveling out of the nation or even having a family member traveling out of the country. Those detained are sent for long prison terms in harsh labor camps.

The open-handedness of the sentences is only one aspect of the tracking alarming human rights groups. For example, there is an AI-based learning algorithm that is tracking people by their facial features. They are looking for things like suspicious travel, religious actions that are considered too fervent, and more. Eventually, China hopes that it will be able to predict which of its people will become “unsafe” for the nation, perhaps before they act, and then arrest them accordingly.

U.S. politicians such as Marco Rubio say this abuse is being powered by major companies who are researching AI, including Microsoft. Although the company’s intent is hard to discern the fact is their technology is now being used in what amounts to horrible discrimination against Muslims.

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