Monday, October 12, 2015

What happens if your Government "unfriends" you?

Sounds crazy right? Perhaps not if you're Chinese. China is launching a system that gives a score to every citizen. This is partially similar to the credit scoring systems that Western nations have used for years, but it also includes a component that measures the political trustworthiness of citizens. If you are a political critic of the Government your score will go down. But, what's really sinister is that if your friends have low ratings, your rating will be reduced. This social network may encourage people to "unfriend" any friends that show dissent. We in the west are perhaps used to, and certainly aware of the fact, that our spy masters have access to our social media accounts. China is taking this a step further by building a social network into the state's functioning. Read this article from the American Civil Liberties Union for more on this story. Thanks to my colleague Mark Wilson for this story.

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