Guangdong to monitor internet use in public places

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 July, 2013, 4:39am

Guangdong authorities plan to monitor use of the internet in all public areas, local media has reported.

But the public surveillance worries some people, especially after the recent revelations by whistle-blower Edward Snowden of the US government's extensive internet surveillance.

Police are planning to link all closed-circuit televisions in public places to a monitor centre and the use of the internet in public places would also be under scrutiny, according to the Southern Metropolis Daily.

The authorities would increase the number of cameras and replace existing ones with high-resolution models and with facial recognition functions, it said.

By 2022, the police should be ready to use facial recognition technology in almost all its video surveillance systems, as well as technology to identify all internet users in public areas, according to a provincial meeting on law and order on Wednesday. It said the measures aimed to maintain public order in the region.

Guangdong Politics and Law Commission secretary Zhu Mingguo said at the meeting that security was vital in the Pearl River Delta.

"The region is the engine of economic and social development of Guangdong. It ought to have the best public security," he was quoted as saying.

But some internet users voiced their concerns on microblog Sina Weibo.

"It is sort of scary to be monitored at all places, all the time," one comment read.

At present, every police bureau in Guangdong is equipped with a video surveillance control centre. There are over 1.8 million surveillance video cameras in the province, a police spokesman said.