i think it's important we consider privacy as an important social justice issue. (CW for fascism, lotsa things)

Submitted by onevest in just_post

In the US, ICE is using utility usage patterns and other data to locate undocumented immigrants and put them in concentration camps. China has taken things a lot further, and are using facial recognition to locate Muslims and political enemies, put them into concentration camps, and literally harvest their organs.

There's three big things people aren't really aware of:

  • The huge and varied amounts of data they regularly provide,
  • How this data can provide enough information to "fill in the gaps" in ways that are like magic,
  • The fact that machine learning algorithms will always improve and be able to do more with this data.

The US is already putting undocumented immigrants in concentration camps. We have a long history of eugenics (particularly against people of color), internment camps, and didn't the president recently say he wants to build a database of the mentally ill? Fascism is rising around the world, and we're watching the US president test the waters with scaling atrocities.

I've been thinking a lot about how we cluster up per identity. That is to say, if you built a social network, you'd notice people are connected to more people of the same race, social status, sexuality and gender, etc. than average. Like, I'm trans, and I know a whole bunch of trans people, despite general stats saying that's unlikely.

The implications being that these groups are less connected and less "important" to the general world. This distance between marginalized groups and the majority makes it easier for fascist governments to perform actions like mass imprisonment. Like, estimates say 0.3% of adults are transgender. I believe if most of us were disappeared today, it might be trending for a day or two on Twitter, then Trump would say something offensive and unrelated to refresh the news cycle and that'd pretty much be that?

Pretty much everything I've put up here is probably easily linked to my real identity. You could find out where I live with a little bit of effort. Realistically speaking, large government entities can probably find out where I'm typing this (within a few meters), and this is after taking a number of difficult techy steps to reclaim some privacy.

Sorry for rambling, but, does anybody else feel the same way? Or does this sound tin-foil-hat-y?


You must log in or register to comment.


neku wrote (edited )

i think a better framing would be identifying privacy as a human right

China has taken things a lot further, and are using facial recognition to locate Muslims and political enemies, put them into concentration camps, and literally harvest their organs.

this does not pass the sniff test


onevest wrote (edited )

i agree that it sounds very wild

TLDR: It sounds wild but is true. Just google "organ harvesting falun gong" and "organ harvesting uyghur". I focused too much on Uyghur people, the Falun Gong have been and still are also having their organs harvested.

First: Concentration camps for the Uyghur ethnic group (an extreme minority ethnic group which is mostly Muslim) (is most definitely a thing)[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinjiang_re-education_camps], and (1)there's (2)plenty (3)of (4)research into facial ethnicity recognition and into recognition of Uyghur faces in particular.

Uyghur people make up less than 1% of the China population, but nearly half of people in Xinjiang are Uyghur. Xinjiang has a higher amount of surveillance than the rest of China, and anybody who enters the region has to consent to having a spyware app installed to their phone.

Finally, regarding organ harvesting, the most egregious claim: There's a well-known less-recent history of organ harvesting from other political prisoners, most notably the Falun Gong. The "reliance on death row inmates" for organ harvesting was supposedly ending around 2014.

Reports on systematic organ harvesting from Falun Gong prisoners first emerged in 2006, though the practice is thought by some to have started six years earlier.

Further down in the article,

Based on his research, Gutmann concluded that organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience became prevalent in the northwestern province of Xinjiang during the 1990s, when members of the Uyghur ethnic group were targeted in security crackdowns and “strike hard campaigns.”

I.e. If this is correct, they were harvesting organs from Uyghur people (who are mostly Muslim) and switched to Falun Gong around 1999.

So, aside from all this history, there are more recent reports that organs are still being harvested from prisoners. This is following an investigation that was released publicly, at ChinaTribunal

I focused too much on Uyghur people, but reading into this, the Falun Gong still are and have been being focused on. I was focused on the Uyghur people because of the amount of ML publications I saw regarding facial recognition of Uyghur people.


neku wrote

falun gong is a fascist cult...


onevest wrote

can you provide more details here? i didn't know about this and i can't find a lot of details supporting that, and i definitely want to know more