Latin America Now Using Chinese Tech To ‘Exert Social Control’

ER Editor:  Lest ER be misunderstood, this article needs an important qualification. We do not take an ‘it’s the Russians!’ or ‘it’s the Chinese’ approach, recognising these as propagandistic moves. Nor do we publish articles mindlessly slamming Venezuela for being a so-called socialist dictatorship. We have published extensively on Venezuela, showing how the US Deep State has waged all manner of warfare, including heavily economic, to undermine the country and its democratically elected governments.
Our interest here is showing how surveillance and other technologies, including the intended 5G rollout, are becoming widespread, threatening us in all sorts of ways. Just recently, we published an article on how city authorities in Darwin, Australia were also rolling out Chinese surveillance technology on their own citizens. This we would deem a threat to citizen liberty from a so-called democracy, i.e. Australia, not from China. As does Patrick Wood, Technocracy News editor, below. We may equally point fingers at our own governments for lapping up this technology.

Experts: Latin America Using Chinese Tech To ‘Exert Social Control’


China expands its Technocracy as it simultaneously undermines free governments. Aggressive Chinese suppliers with their sophisticated social control tech products have now penetrated Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela. ⁃ TN Editor



The ongoing proliferation of Chinese surveillance and information technologies in Latin America can be used to exert social control, erode democratic governance, and challenge U.S. and regional strategic interest, expert witnesses told a House panel on Thursday.

Margaret Myers, the director of the Asia and Latin America program at the Inter-American Dialogue, told the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere via written testimony that the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela have all implemented “Chinese-made intelligent monitoring” technologies.

Myers described the move as “exceedingly troubling,” adding:

These systems are described by Chinese suppliers as promoting of citizen safety and security, but if used to exert social control (as they are in China or currently in Venezuela through the ZTE- backed “fatherland card”), can have critical implications for privacy and democratic governance.

Most notably in Venezuela, Reuters recently reported that China’s ZTE technology had enabled socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro to use the so-called “fatherland card” to collect personal data and track the behavior of citizens.

The socialist policies of Chinese-backed Maduro and his predecessor plunged Venezuela into a humanitarian, security, and political abyss. The United States and about 50 other countries have come out in support of interim President Juan Guaido.

In his written testimony, Christopher Walker, the vice president for studies and analysis at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), noted that, despite the risks, the use of Chinese technology is likely to continue growing in Latin America.

He testified:

For many countries in Latin America, as in other developing economies around the world, the opportunity to import advanced technologies can be highly attractive. We can anticipate that governments across the region will continue to pursue such opportunities and welcome investments from China in this sphere. However, the wider societies of countries throughout the region must approach such technology-related deals with open eyes and with the information necessary to make fully informed decisions.

Brian Fonseca, the director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at Florida International University, noted in his prepared remarks that the proliferation of Chinese surveillance and IT technologies are challenging the interest of the United States and the Western Hemisphere as a whole.

He acknowledged that — along with Beijing’s economic practices, namely its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — Chinese-made technologies “undermine the efficacy of democratic institutions and expand Chinese influence across economic, political, and security landscapes,” adding:

Chinese investments in telecommunications, artificial intelligence and other critical technologies represents a concern to the United States and nations in the hemisphere due to security vulnerabilities in Chinese technologies, the potential that these technologies could serve as intelligence collection platforms against the U.S. and our partners, and questions about the overall impacts on digital sovereignty and norms. It is clear that China’s view of the internet is very different from the U.S.

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