"the heart of the mass surveillance system in Xinjiang"
According to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published today, data from these data doors is sent to the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP), a database that centralizes information from different sources, and one of the main systems Chinese authorities use for mass surveillance in Xinjiang.
The information collected by the data doors includes ID cards (which users have to swipe at the checkpoint), facial scans (recorded by a camera installed on the data door), height and other body measurables (recorded by sensors), and phone MAC and IMEI number (also recorded by the data door when the user passes through its gate).
"Unbeknownst to the person going through the checkpoints, these 'data doors' are detecting and collecting MAC addresses and IMEI numbers of the person's phones, and logging such data for identification and tracking purposes," HRW said today.
Some of the "lawful behavior" that HRW investigators found logged in the IJOP database included details on the use of electricity and gas stations, if citizens are socializing with neighbors, if they avoid using the front door, donating to mosques, preaching the Quran without authorization, or using one of 51 applications (such s VPNs or encrypted IM apps).
"Human Rights Watch found that the system and some of the region's checkpoints work together to form a series of invisible or virtual fences. People's freedom of movement is restricted to varying degrees depending on the level of threat authorities perceive they pose, determined by factors programmed into the system," the organization said today in a visual reportdetailing the IJOP app's features.
The data doors, the Jingwang (Citizen Safety) app, and the IJOP database and app are just some of the latest mass-surveillance tools that human rights organizations have found deployed inside China's Xinjiang region.
Previously, a security researcher found an open database that exposed a Chinese company's Muslim-tracking facial recognition database that aggregated data from CCTV and surveillance cameras to keep track of the location of Muslims across the Xinjiang region. https://www.zdnet.com/article/china-uses-biometrics-and-digital-scanning-data-doors-to-track-muslim-minority/?ftag=COS-05-10aaa0h&utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&utm_content=5ccbd900df423900011170a1&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook
5-1-2019 The IJOP is unique," said Maya Wang, the senior researcher on China at Human Rights Watch. "It’s the heart of the mass surveillance system in Xinjiang."It’s the system of systems," she added. Upward of a million people, including ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Turkic Muslims, have passed through mass internment camps in Xinjiang, where detainees are held without charge, taught Chinese, compelled to sing patriotic songs and learn Chinese Communist Party doctrine, and subjected to a wide range of abuses from food deprivation to being held in stress positions, according to many witness accounts. The IJOP platform tracks people’s travel patterns, their electricity and petrol use, as well as religious activity like preaching or donating to mosques, Human Rights Watch found.The IJOP also prompts police to check for apps deemed suspicious including messaging apps popular outside China, such as WhatsApp, Viber, and Telegram. Based on these and many other criteria, the app spits out lists of people who are candidates for detention — suggesting there is a direct link between Xinjiang’s complex surveillance apparatus and the mass internment of Muslim minorities https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/meghara/ijop-china-uighur-muslim-app
Last month reports surfaced that academics at Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing had co-written papers with researchers affiliated with China’s National University of Defense Technology on AI methods that can be used for surveillance. https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2019/0503/In-race-to-dominate-AI-US-researchers-debate-collaboration-with-China