Proponents of 5G extol the ability of this new technology to transfer wireless data at speeds that surpass 4G and earlier versions of wireless communications.

5G has been enthusiastically adopted by China, which is at the forefront of using technology to exert tyrannical control over its citizens. China’s so-called “social credit” system scores people on their behaviour and rewards them with points for “good” behaviour and deducts points for “bad” behaviour. People whose scores drop too low (and a low score may NOT be the result of antisocial or criminal activity) are denied opportunities to travel (i.e they may literally be prevented from boarding a train or a plane) or may potentially even be confined to their homes.

A New York Post article describes some of the ramifications of China’s new digital dystopia: https://nypost.com/2019/05/18/chinas-new-social-credit-system-turns-orwells-1984-into-reality/ This short video is also worth watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOk27I2EBac&feature=youtu.be

Closer to home in Australia, it has been reported that “Officials on the Darwin council traveled to Shenzhen, according to NT News, to ‘have a chance to see exactly how their Smart Technology works prior to being fully rolled out.’”

It may be of interest in this regard, that the NZ telecommunications industry is touting (so-called) “smart cities” (and the IoT) as a benefit of 5G. (In fact, Spark has been using the Viaduct Basin in downtown Auckland as a testing site for a so-called “smart” street featuring LED street lights that contain a “Smart City Module” that means that the lights are not just lights – but are also covert CCTV cameras and a wifi routers. (Did anyone bother to ask people who use that street whether they actually want to extra exposure to pulsed microwave radiation involved with this, I wonder?) Apparently the system also includes options for pedestrian counters and public alert speakers.)

But back to Darwin – this Australian city has reportedly “constructed ‘poles, fitted with speakers, cameras and Wi-Fi,’ according to NT News, to monitor people, their movements around the city, the websites they visit, and what apps they use. The monitoring will be done mainly by artificial intelligence, but will alert authorities based on set triggers.” More details are available here: https://www.theepochtimes.com/chinas-big-brother-social-control-goes-to-australia_2898104.html )

And, in related news, even here in NZ it was recently reported that the some NZ police officers had secretly trialed a facial recognition software system, apparently without getting authorisation from their superiors. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12331753

It remains to be seen how the issues of the potential for increased surveillance of the NZ population that are offered by new technologies such as 5G, the IoT, and AI (agencies of the NZ government is reportedly already beginning to make more use of algorithms for decision making) will be handled in NZ in the future…

If the accelerated use of these technologies proceeds at the same time as our democratic freedoms are eroded, our country could be in big trouble more quickly than we might expect.

Ed note: The image for this post is sourced from this link: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12360871

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