For this assignment there are going to be 4 Discussion Posts.
1- In your first post, define, describe, and analyze the issue of intellectual property theft by the Chinese government and its agents; this persistent problem is part of the Trump administration’s current China trade policies. Cite all required readings including, MacKinnon, Lindsay and Cheung and other articles, as well as videos.
2- In your second post, define, describe, and analyze the case of Shi Tao and how cyber espionage and internet policy have been employed as tools of Chinese internal security policy against dissidents, as discussed in McKune. Cite relevant readings and videos, and also refer to Pei’s ideas about “selective repression” (pp. 81-83); “containing social unrest (pp. 83-84); and “responding to the information revolution” (84-88).
3 & 4 In your third and fourth posts, continue to define, describe, and analyze topics of your choice based on the readings and videos below.
Note: All the posts have to be based on the sources (Articles and videos provided on this document below)
Chinese journalist Shi Tao released after 8 years in prison. By Jessica King, CNN, September 8, 2013
Dispatches: Shi Tao and the Dangers of China’s State Secrets Laws. By Phelim Kine, Deputy Director, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch, September 11, 2013.
Criticism of Yahoo! Read only section 3: Work in the People’s Republic of China
Topic: Democratizing China?
Pei, Minxin. China’s Trapped Transition: The Limits of Developmental Autocracy. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 2008. Ch. 2, Democratizing China? pp. 45-95 (50 pages). Available online as an E-Book from the Utica College Library website
Required Videos: total viewing time appx. 24 mins
How China Steals US Technology for Profit. China Uncensored. (11:09 min.)
China Hacking USA? Are They Stealing Intellectual Property? (13:23 min.)
How much has the US lost from China’s IP theft? By Sherisse Pham, March 23, 2018, CNN.com article
Trump’s actions send a clear message: China’s era of intellectual property theft is over. By Michael Wessel and Jim Talent, Opinion Contributors, March 31, 2018, USA Today.
Discussion Post Sample:
The “Panopticon Effect” is a method used by the government of China to keep citizens in check at all times possible. In her book, MacKinnon describes the Panopticon Effect as a way to ” give prisoners credible proof that they are under surveillance some of the time, though not all of the time. If they have no way of knowing exactly when they are being watched, they end up having to assume they are under surveillance all the time.” (MacKinnon,2012, p80). Based on Bentham’s design, she also argues that ” When people are unaware of being monitored, at least some of the time, without clear information about exactly how and when the surveillance is taking place, against whom, and according to what specific criteria, people will choose to avoid trouble and modify their behavior in ways that are often subtle and even subconscious.”(MacKinnon,2012, p80).
China’s practice of the Panopticon Effect is in use as a daily routine. Citizens are constantly being monitored by face and object recognition cameras and technologies that allow government officials to acquire data and compare the data acquired against the information on a database. Facial recognition is measured by “identifying all of the faces in a given image. For each face, the algorithm measures out key data points like the distance between the eyes or the color of the skin and then use those measurements to create a template that can be compared against other faces in a database.” (Wall Street Journal, 2017). Not only are the Chinese monitored by cameras, but also by the daily applications they use on their electronic devices (discussed in the last paragraph).
Everywhere in China there are checkpoints in which each citizen’s id card is revised. In the video “Life Inside China’s Total Surveillance State”, the journalist from the Wall Street Journal makes emphasis on how strict is life for the Chinese due to the constant surveillance implemented by the government. Some of the aspects touched on the video included the fact that if a citizen wants to buy a weapon, the weapon is then “tied to the buyer’s identification card” (Wall Street Journal, 2017). This enforces security and allows for faster profiling of criminals during or after the commission of crimes, however, for innocent people this seems very unnecessary. The implementation of surveillance goes above and beyond and allows the government to manipulate the citizens like puppets, and use them as a way to test new technologies.
In China, almost every citizen makes use of the “WeChat” application, which not only does it offer social network features, but also is used to “pay utility bills, pay for food, rent items, take a taxi, buy tickets for events, such as movie tickets, and even rent hotel rooms and book flights.” (China Uncensored, 2017). This application offers facial recognition as well as an addition to the features mentioned above. The drawback to this application is that the government has full access to everyone’s information within the WeChat databases. The government has the ability to listen to conversations over the phone due to its ability to activate microphones, as well as being capable of tracking the user’s location and activities. Basically, the users have to live with the fact that they are being watched from the moment they sign up to use the app.
MacKinnon, R. (2012). Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Wall Street Journal. (2017, June 27). Next-Level Surveillance: China Embraces Facial Recognition. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq1SEqNT-7c
China Uncensored (2017, August 23) WeChat: The App That’s Always Watching You . Retrieved March 27, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMHwVU-8BHM
Wall Street Journal (2017, December 20). Life Inside China’s Total Surveillance State. Retrieved March 27, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ5LnY21Hg