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Human Rights Come Under Pressure From Digital Controls


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Closed-circuit surveillance cameras.

Authoritarian regimes around the world are harnessing digital techniques to undermine human rights and enable mass surveillance.

Credit: FT Montage

Some are concerned about the increased use of digital strategies by authoritarian regimes worldwide to undermine human rights and facilitate mass surveillance.

The public and private sectors in democratic states also have deployed technology like facial recognition, but experts say the impact is amplified in countries with limited checks and balances.

The Oxford Internet Institute's Aliaksandr Herasimenka said many authoritarian states lag China's high-tech and algorithmic approach to policing dissent.

Herasimenka observed that in China, "the Internet functions differently and was developed differently [to Russia or Belarus], which have more links to the outside world. In Russia, they're less advanced in terms of surveillance, but more advanced in terms of manipulation [of narratives]."

Herasimenka and Human Rights Watch's Maya Wang express concerns the pandemic has accelerated the use of surveillance by authoritarian regimes and normalized these systems among citizens.

From Financial Times
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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