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Artificial Intelligence used for mass surveillance in 75 countries

Artificial Intelligence used for mass surveillance in 75 countries

A new report from The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace finds that at least 75 countries are using facial recognition and other forms of in order to surveil massive numbers of people.

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SwissCognitiveA growing number of states are deploying advanced surveillance tools to monitor, track, and surveil citizens. Carnegie’s new index explores how different countries are going about this.

Artificial intelligence () technology is rapidly proliferating around the world. Startling developments keep emerging, from the onset of deepfake videos that blur the line between truth and falsehood, to advanced algorithms that can beat the best players in the world in multiplayer poker. Businesses harness capabilities to improve analytic processing; city officials tap to monitor traffic congestion and oversee smart energy metering. Yet a growing number of states are deploying advanced surveillance tools to monitor, track, and surveil citizens to accomplish a range of policy objectives—some lawful, others that violate human rights, and many of which fall into a murky middle ground.

In order to appropriately address the effects of this technology, it is important to first understand where these tools are being deployed and how they are being used. Unfortunately, such information is scarce. To provide greater clarity, this paper presents an Global Surveillance (AIGS) Index—representing one of the first research efforts of its kind. The index compiles empirical data on surveillance use for 176 countries around the world. It does not distinguish between legitimate and unlawful uses of surveillance. Rather, the purpose of the research is to show how new surveillance capabilities are transforming the ability of governments to monitor and track individuals or systems. It specifically asks:

Which countries are adopting surveillance technology?

What specific types of surveillance are governments deploying?

Which countries and companies are supplying this technology?

Key Findings

surveillance technology is spreading at a faster rate to a wider range of countries than experts have commonly understood. At least seventy-five out of 176 countries globally are actively using technologies for surveillance purposes. This includes: smart city/safe city platforms (fifty-six countries), facial recognition systems (sixty-four countries), and smart policing (fifty-two countries).

China is a major driver of surveillance worldwide. Technology linked to Chinese companies—particularly Huawei, Hikvision, Dahua, and ZTE—supply surveillance technology in sixty-three countries, thirty-six of which have signed onto China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Huawei alone is responsible for providing surveillance technology to at least fifty countries worldwide. No other company comes close. The next largest non-Chinese supplier of surveillance tech is Japan’s NEC Corporation (fourteen countries).[…]

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(Image by By Steven Feldstein


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