China Faces Security Crisis As Pollution Shields Citizens From Police Surveillance

220px-beijing_smog_comparison_august_2005250px-Closed.circuit.twocameras.arp.750pixThis may be the most ironic story of the year. We often discuss two outstanding characteristics of modern China: expanding pollution and shrinking civil liberties. Now, the two have collided where Chinese officials are struggling with the loss of surveillance from its thousands of surveillance cameras spying on citizens. Pollution is now making it difficult to maintain such surveillance due to the permanent shroud of particulates and pollutants. Thus, while Chinese lives are being shortened, their government may have given them a slight respite from monitoring. Of course, it is hard to use free speech when you are gasping for breath. A recent report details how pollution in one Chinese city is being attributed as the cause of lung cancer in an eight-year-old boy.

South China Morning Post says that the government has dispatched teams of scientists to come up with a fix. Not to solve pollution mind you. To find surveillance systems that can operate in the toxic soup of Chinese cities. This may include infrared cameras. However, it turns out that the Chinese pollution is even defeating infrared cameras of China’s security services. One official stated “Our preliminary research shows that the smog particles are quite different from the small water droplets of fog in terms of optical properties” so that infrared can see through smoke but not Chinese particulates. What a shame.

10 thoughts on “China Faces Security Crisis As Pollution Shields Citizens From Police Surveillance”

  1. Capitalists and free market types should love clean energy – it’s the cheapest energy with the greatest opportunity to profit. It makes a sovereign nation more secure.

    How can energy from the sun, wind, methane, etc. cost more than extracting it from the ground, refining, etc. ? Australia and other nations prove it’s possible.

  2. Mike S.,
    Don’t forget that a large bit of capitalistic greed is involved in allowing the pollution to continue in order to make money.

  3. I find the whole China situation to be so grimly ironic since back in the 60’s I had many disputes with the Maoists in my union that were known as the Progressive Labor Party. They were a grim lot and I can remember being invited to a recruiting dinner at a PLP acquaintance’s house and being offered Coke for refreshments. I mean the soda of course, since this couple were grim faced teetotalers who spent the evening haranguing myself and the shocked woman I was with. We left as soon after dinner as was politely possible. All of that adoration for their idol Chairman Mao has led to this.

  4. Canary, meet Coal Mine. Humans will be the next to go blind. Pollution is cumulative.

  5. I do not know why anyone would think that the Communist state created by Mao and his goons had somehow gained some modicum of civil liberties and the gasp that they are now being taken away. In the mid sixties the mob of Mao guys came and took you away. Now they have a video of you so they know what you look like smoking outside your doorway trying your best to get lung cancer and give it to the 8 year old kid with the second hand smoke and can come get you with a smaller mob of Mao guys who are third generation gang members. Jeso, just because they make all of our pots and pans and computers for the Koch brothers does not mean that these Capitalist Communists are still not Facists or any less passionate about it.

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