Now, as China prepares to showcase its economic advances during the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, Shenzhen is once again serving as a laboratory, a testing ground for the next phase of this vast social experiment. Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city. Many are in public spaces, disguised as lampposts. The closed-circuit TV cameras will soon be connected to a single, nationwide network, an all-seeing system that will be capable of tracking and identifying anyone who comes within its range — a project driven in part by U.S. technology and investment. Over the next three years, Chinese security executives predict they will install as many as 2 million CCTVs in Shenzhen, which would make it the most watched city in the world. (Security-crazy London boasts only half a million surveillance cameras.)
[via Bruce Schneier]
P.S. Naomi is a wonderful story teller even though I don’t agree with some of her economic analysis or opinion. E.g. “The result was a city [Shenzhen] of pure commerce, undiluted by history or rooted culture — the crack cocaine of capitalism.“
P.P.S. It should be noted that the UK has a really bad (horrible?) record too.
Update: “Leaked Cisco Document: Chinese Censorship among “Opportunities”” – John Palfrey – Harvard Law School