back to article Hikvision, Nvidia named in contract for 'Uyghur detection'

Video surveillance equipment maker Hikvision was paid $6 million by the Chinese government last year to provide technology that could identify members of the nation's Uyghur people, a Muslim ethnic majority, according to physical security monitoring org IPVM. The payment was documented in a contract between China-based …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing is always great for your brand right?

    I have to hold my nose for a fair amount of bad behavior on the part of some tech vendors and manufacturers. The companies that made the batteries for the UPS in the server room next to me have poisoned whole cites. I try to vote with my wallet on stuff like this, and this is a line too far for me. The Nvidia, and others like it need to be subjected to an open book investigation to confirm the degree and level of complicity and profiteering from these programs. Any profits should be seized, and fines greatly in excess of the size of the contract levied if they sold equipment to China to conduct these programs, all the way back to when the lid on this was first lifted.

    The latest statements from Hikvison are a sick joke, as they now have a pervasive network that identifies EVERYONE and not just by race. They installed cameras in mosques to map out who was actively practicing religion, they then rounded up whole families, arrested them, and put them in concentration camps for years. Of the ones that weren't killed outright, and were ever released, they are now tracked in every public space by the system that replaced the "ethnicity tracking".

    What they have now is worse, by far, than the original system and is being applied to all political and social dissidents against Xi's regime. That's what Hikvison helped build, and that's what western tech sales to these vendors is supporting. It's the system that enforces the ongoing subjugation of the not just the Chinese people, but people in every nation where China under Xi has enough of a toe hold to export his system of authoritarian and totalitarian government.

    So this demands a forceful response from regulators, but also from us to make it clear we don't support this crap happening over there, or anywhere else. At least put down a policy that new projects with Nvidia hardware require a "special approval" and make the vendor squirm and jump through a few hoops so they pass word up the chain that there is some broader resentment to this.

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing is always great for your brand right?

      Respectfully, you more or less cannot buy anything that does not carry some element of "made in China"; whether it's the packaging or the assembly line.

      Clothing is similarly afflicted by slave labour; buying "ethically" sourced gear is possible but generally cost-prohibitive for most circumstances.

      I don't like it, but voting elsewhere is problematic unless we collectively choose to require employers abroad to abide by rules we would accept at home. Good luck with that one.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - Re: Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing is always great for your brand right?

      Care to point us to some credible source of information, preferable a country outside US sphere of influence ? In case you don't, your arguments are as good as those pushed by the Chinese propaganda.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC - Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing is always great for your brand right?

        (Different AC)

        I'm not saying the OP is wrong - I really don't have info one way or the other. But such extraordinary accusations really should be backed up. Can you provide links to news articles about these things?

  2. martinusher Silver badge

    Coming soon to a layby near you

    I'm not sure what these cameras will do that isn't already being done but I suspect that our fuss about them is misdirection. Quite apart from my brother reporting that he drove past a rather spiffy new surveillance camera setup operated by Thames Valley Police recently, one that he reports can look not just at a vehicle but its occupants to get some idea of who/what/when (and if you're wearing your seat belts, using a mobile, eating something or doing all those 101 undesirable things that drivers do), its really just an extension to the surveillance society that's pretty universal in the UK these days. Over on our side of the pond we have some very impressive hardware at Border Patrol checkpoints that looks into cars, its handy for checking people into and out of areas where there's likely to be above average border traffic such as I-10 around El Paso.

    I'm not interested in excusing the PRC government -- governments are going to do what governments do -- but this idea that somehow "they" are living in a prison camp and "we" are living in total freedom is, regrettably, BS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Coming soon to a layby near you

      Such devices being placed at border control checkpoints is kinda reasonable. That's a location that needs and is expected to have a great deal of extra scrutiny of those passing through it. Putting them into cities, however, should be a no-no.

  3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Will someone think of the shareholders...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @CowHorseFrog - not to mention

      US world domination

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