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Chinese Police Officials Using Mobile App To Keep Tabs On Uighur Muslims

Chinese police officials have been using an app to keep tabs on Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in the Xinjiang province, Aljazeera News reports.

According to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, Chinese police are using a mobile app, known as Integrated Joint Operations Platform, to store data on 13 million ethnic minority Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims.

The app stores detailed information including the height and weight of individuals to facial recognition scans.

Xinjiang authorities closely watch 36 categories of behaviour, including those who do not socialise with neighbours, often avoid using the front door, don’t use a smartphone, donate to mosques “enthusiastically”, and use an “abnormal” amount of electricity, the HRW report stated.

“The goal is apparently to identify patterns of, and predict, the everyday life and resistance of its population, and, ultimately, to engineer and control reality,” the report added.

HRW worked with a German security firm Cure53 to reverse engineer the app in late 2018 to provide “an unprecedented window into how mass surveillance actually works in Xinjiang”.

The Joint Operations Platform app also aids officials in filing reports about individuals, vehicles and events they find suspicious, as well as sending out investigative missions for the police to follow up.

The police officials are also ordered to investigate whether suspects use any of the 51 internet tools that are deemed suspicious, including messaging platforms popular outside China like WhatsApp, LINE and Telegram.

 

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