According to an internal report, the much questioned Chinese telecommunications company, Huawei, has tested surveillance and facial recognition software that will alert Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities when it identifies Uighur Muslims.
According to the report to which The Washington Post had access, the telecommunications company worked during 2018 together with the Chinese-based facial recognition company, Megvii, to test an artificial intelligence camera system that could scan faces in a crowd of people and estimate the age, sex, and ethnicity of each person.
The test was configured to ensure that in the event of detecting the face of a Uighur, an alarm or flag would be sent to security forces alerting them.
The Uighur Muslim minority is currently being brutally persecuted by the CCP. There is much information and demands about the abuses, which include slave labor in concentration camps, forced abortions, and culture destruction. These atrocities have been denounced for years by Uighur exiles and human rights defenders.
The State Department, the National Security Council, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are considering information to support the declaration of a Uighur genocide, as The BL reported.
The surveillance technology represents only one element of a broader offensive against the religious and political freedoms of Uighurs in China and also other minorities such as practitioners of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong, which has been brutally persecuted for 20 years.
Millions of Uighurs are confined to labor camps in western China, where they are often subjected to population control through forced abortion, brutal working conditions, and forced renunciation of their faith.
The report published by Huawei, indicates that the firm has contributed to the development—providing the servers, cameras, cloud computing infrastructure, and other tools—of the questioned surveillance system.
Facial detection systems, which are already in operation in China, remain a major concern for human rights defenders around the world. The data obtained is extremely useful for the CCP and its obsession with keeping track of all its citizens’ movements.
But the step taken by Huawei is much more controversial because it involves the development of a technology aimed at identifying a certain racial and cultural minority that is currently being persecuted and imprisoned by the CCP.
The Trump administration has openly condemned these authoritarian policies, and during its four years in office has made many advances in stopping such abuses by Chinese-based companies.
In August 2019, President Trump publicly stated that the United States would not do business with Huawei, stating that the firm poses an enormous danger to U.S. national security.
In addition to banning Huawei from the United States, the Trump administration pressured its allied countries to take the same measures and even kick them out of the country if they are already working.
Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and soon Germany have managed to get Huawei out of their borders.