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Undemocratic Means: The Rise of the Surveillance State

  • Peter Lehr
Chapter
Part of the Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications book series (ASTSA)

Abstract

In Chap.  11, I already raised the ‘what if’ question regarding the imagined slippery slope from liberal democracies to more authoritarian and far less liberal or democratic states. In this chapter, I show where this ‘what if’ journey towards ever more safety and security could eventually lead by discussing the Chinese government’s current plans to roll out a ‘Social Credit Score’ system that assigns each Chinese citizen an individual ‘social score’ – a score that can go up and down depending on their action and how ‘trustworthy’ they are. I argue that this total surveillance goes for beyond ‘nudging’ as employed in Western democracies, but that for those who score high, it actually does not look like surveillance but like a game – hence, we basically witness the ‘gamification’ of social control. I then compare these developments to surveillance measures already existing in the West and conclude that we are actually not that far removed from China’s version of Huxley’s ‘Brave New World.’

Keywords

Big data Smart CCTV Megvii Inc. Skynet Dragonfly eyes Nudging Gamification of social control Social credit system Total information awareness Data-mining Identification bias 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Lehr
    • 1
  1. 1.CSTPV, School of International RelationsUniversity of St. AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

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