The US is again expanding the trade war with China. The US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security has blacklisted 20 Chinese security agencies and eight IT companies for violating US foreign policy interests. Those affected can no longer obtain technology or components from US companies without the special permission of the government in Washington. The process is well-known by the US government's crackdown on Chinese network equipment giant Huawei, which therefore has to make its smartphones independent of Google services in Android.
Reproach human rights violations
The tightened export control provisions apply according to the decision for Dahua, Hikvision, Iflytek, Megvii, SenseTime, Xiamen Meiya Pico Information, Yitu and Yixin. Some of these companies are considered leaders in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) with voice and facial recognition or video surveillance. The Dutch civil society organization Pax counts at least SenseTime and Yitu among a number of IT companies that massively promote the development of killer robots.
The US Department of Commerce accuses the 28 organizations and companies of being involved in "high-tech monitoring" of human rights violations in Beijing's Operation Against the Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. He said he could not tolerate the "brutal repression of an ethnic minority within China," Minister of Commerce and Industry Wilbur Ross emphasized, The new export regulations ensured that "our technology, developed in an environment of individual and entrepreneurial freedom," would not be abused for such purposes.
Xinjiang also serves the Chinese government as a testing ground for the use of AI for mass surveillance. There, a "Panoptikum of the 21st Century" is created to shadow the Uighurs around the clock, complain Western observers. The cities in the area were peppered every 100 to 200 meters with cameras, the Turkish population had to install state "spyware" on their smartphones, their IDs would be with additional information such as fingerprints, iris scans, blood type, DNA information or a "reliability status" connected. The state had set up an "unprecedented surveillance regime" there.
But humanitarian aspects should not have been decisive in the decision of the US government. The US and China are currently racing for leadership in key technology AI, while the EU wants to score in this field with ethical guidelines, privacy and trusted products.
. (tagsToTranslate) China (t) Artificial Intelligence (t) US Trade War against China (t) USA (t) Uighurs (t) surveillance