Tangshan City Uses “Smart Community” to Step Up Surveillance of Residents
(Minghui.org) A city about 100 miles away from Beijing has been building a “smart community” to track its residents' movement since the summer of 2019.
“Smart Community” is an ongoing project launched in Tangshan, a city of more than 7.5 million in Hebei Province, last year. The project uses artificial intelligence and a 5G network to monitor all the people and cars coming in and out of every residential compound in the city.
This project is part of China's “Skynet,” a massive nationwide video surveillance network aimed at identifying and tracking its 1.4 billion people. A New York Times article published on July 8, 2018 wrote, “China has become the world’s biggest market for security and surveillance technology, with analysts estimating the country will have almost 300 million cameras installed by 2020.”
How Does “Smart Community” Work?
The installation and commissioning of cameras and other equipment have begun in some areas in Tangshan. In some smaller residential areas, the residents were required to install monitoring equipment at their own expense.
The project is enabled by the use of big data and robust algorithms, as well as the technologies of face recognition, vehicle identification, micro hot spots, and electronic access control.
All the data will be compiled into databases, including the demographics of residents in each residential compound and their daily activities, and then shared with the police.
The electronic fence system in this project also collects information about people’s cellphones, including the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers, the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) numbers, access time, location, and device number.
With the collected data, the police can quickly search a person’s cellphone number and other personal information. If necessary, they can also monitor the usage of one’s cellphone to obtain more information about that person.
In other words, every time a person leaves or enters their residential compound, their photos, vehicle’s information, cellphone number and the usage of their badges and IDs, will all be recorded and fed into databases.
According to insiders, once the project is implemented, the police will get a timely and early notification of blacklisted people, concerned groups, high-risk groups, and those who have abnormal behaviors.
Here are some details of how the system works:
- Monitor suspicious personnel outside every residential compound’s gates through facial recognition and capture the faces of people appearing outside the compound to form a database.- Build an electronic roster (database) of residents in the compound and use artificial intelligence to identify and open the door for residents to enter and leave the compound.- Develop an algorithm to match the face of any random person entering or exiting the compound with one in the police's databases of people. The matching helps identify people and track their movements.
Snapshot of Vehicles
- When a vehicle passes through an entrance, the system can accurately record the vehicle’s movement information, such as time, place, and direction.- Capture images of the vehicle, including the front, back and the license plate.- Transmit the image and vehicle’s movement information to the control terminal.
Cellphone Number Collection
- The electronic fence acquisition device sends out requests to people’s cellphones, simulating signals from their carriers, and thereby collecting the cellphone number and information such as IMSI/ IMEI.- The system then passes the collected information back to the network with encryption and reports to the back-end. The back-end then uses big data analysis to dig out more information such as the cellphone’s models and locations, etc.
Gate Security System
- When a resident needs to enter or exit their residential compound's gates, they can either use facial recognition, swipe badges (including their ID, resident badge or a smart card), enter a password, dial a certain number, or press a certain button.- Whenever a gate is opened, the system also takes a picture and saves that in the database.