The Han-Opticon: Social Credit and AI in the Surveillance State

Surveillance cameras

China today is Black Mirror through the Looking Glass. A national video surveillance network is promised in just two years, while new technologies are being rolled out at speed on the frontier of China’s surveillance regime, in Xinjiang, ranging from iris scans to phone surveillance apps. Simultaneously the Chinese state is building a nationwide social credit system, to be launched in 2020, which provides incentives for citizens to participate in their own surveillance. To unpack China’s dystopian present, Louisa and Graeme are joined by Elsa Kania from the Center for a New American Security, Lotus Ruan from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, and Samantha Hoffman from the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin.

Image: Oliver Jeannin (Flickr)

All three guests have recently written reports for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, links below

Elsa Kania: (

Lotus Ruan: (

Samantha Hoffman: (

Updated:  6 October 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team