Sunday, December 02, 2018

A Chinese-Style Digital Dystopia Isn't As Far Away As We Think

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/mattstoller2/as-democracy-suffers-digital-dictators-are-seizing-power  

 

Chinese journalist Liu Hu always knew he'd have trouble with the authorities; he had been exposing corruption and wrongdoing for years. He was used to being hassled with regular fines and forced apologies imposed by his authoritarian government. He nevertheless persisted in truth-telling.

 

One day in 2017, Hu logged onto a travel site, but couldn't book a flight because the site said he was "not qualified." Soon he discovered he was blocked from buying property, using the high-speed train network, or getting a loan.

 

And there was nothing he could do about it. His rights to essential goods and services were now circumscribed through an algorithm designed to discriminate against the 7.5 million people on China's "Dishonest Persons Subject to Enforcement" list.