China is becoming the largest “surveillance state” in history and democracies must contain it, said Hillary Clinton, former US secretary of state (2009-2013) on Tuesday.
“It’s so ‘1984’ [romance distópico do britânico George Orwell que descreve um Estado dominado pelo Grande Irmão]! Millions of Chinese are constantly checked, warned, punished. It’s getting out of hand, ”the US policy said, referring to the Chinese government’s use of surveillance cameras, facial recognition, and data and cell phone monitoring.
Chinese police are also taking blood samples from around 700 million men and boys, to establish a genetic map of their male population, which will be used as a new monitoring tool.
In a debate on the future of liberal democracies promoted by Chatham House – an independent UK-based analysis institute – Hillary also cited Russia and big tech companies (so-called big techs) as threats. which democratic leaders must stand up against. to the top.
In the case of China, she said, there is a need to demand climate responsibility, arms control and respect for human rights. “About Hong Kong, there is just a huge silence. The Chinese simply broke the deal [feito com os britânicos em garantia de direitos civis no território] and there was no revolt. “
For Hillary, the West’s shyness towards the Asian country is due to an economic dependence, which must be dismantled, even at the cost of subsidies – to encourage companies to resume production outside China.
“During the pandemic, we were held hostage by Chinese mercy. It is clear that we need to rebuild our supply chains, and it goes without saying that this hurts the market economy. China is not a market economy, it is impossible to compete under these conditions. “
If the Asian country is a “surveillance state,” global tech companies are forming a “surveillance capitalism,” she said, based on what she called an “algorithm-based conspiracy ecosystem. “.
Hillary considers initiatives to control big tech – such as taxation, competition rules and data access – to be important, but she doubts they are enough. “Surveillance is so closely linked to the functioning of these companies that it may be necessary to change their structures, for the sake of democracy,” he said.
The social media model, which collects information about users and allows businesses and entities to use it to target advertisements – for business or political gain – is used by irresponsible leaders to deepen disinformation and polarization and undermine them. democratic societies, he said. Hillary.
The Russian government under Vladimir Putin is one of the main manipulators of this tool, according to the former secretary of state. “The interference in the US elections, in the Brexit campaign, in favor of candidates in European countries, is already clear, but despite this it continues to occur,” he said.
For Hillary, Russia’s success in manipulating public opinion in other countries without suffering the consequences encourages other autocratic governments and dictatorships, like Iran and North Korea, to do the same.
In addition to a harsher response from Western governments, it has taken on more responsibility from the media. “Serious issues are easily overlooked, and the same figures who lied in the election are now being questioned without anyone questioning their lies.”
Saving a democracy it sees as in crisis will require not only the right content, but a new way to engage with audiences, according to Hillary. “20-year-olds have grown up seeing democratic values challenged, and talking to them is not easy. Public policy is a boring subject. “
For the ex-secretary, one way out may be the language of entertainment. “[O ex-presidente Donald] Trump was essentially entertainment and captured the attention of the public. And that continues to attract today, ”he said.