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Alibaba Founder To Chinese Government: Use Big Data To Stop Criminals (bloomberg.com) 46

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Chinese billionaire Jack Ma proposed that the nation's top security bureau use big data to prevent crime, endorsing the country's nascent effort to build unparalleled online surveillance of its billion-plus people. China's data capabilities are virtually unrivaled among its global peers, and policing cannot happen without the ability to analyze information on its citizens, the co-founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said in a speech published Saturday by the agency that polices crime and runs the courts. Ma's stance resonates with that of China's ruling body, which is establishing a system to collect and parse information on citizens in a country where minimal safeguards exist for privacy. "Bad guys in a movie are identifiable at first glance, but how can the ones in real life be found?" Ma said in his speech, which was posted on the official WeChat account of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs. "In the age of big data, we need to remember that our legal and security system with millions of members will also face change." In his speech, Ma stuck mainly to the issue of crime prevention. In Alibaba's hometown of Hangzhou alone, the number of surveillance cameras may already surpass that of New York's, Ma said. Humans can't handle the sheer amount of data amassed, which is where artificial intelligence comes in, he added. "The future legal and security system cannot be separated from the internet and big data," Ma said. Ma's speech also highlights the delicate relationship between Chinese web companies and the government. The ruling party has designated internet industry leaders as key targets for outreach, with President Xi Jinping saying in May last year that technology leaders should "demonstrate positive energy in purifying cyberspace."
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Alibaba Founder To Chinese Government: Use Big Data To Stop Criminals

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2016 @07:16PM (#53143125)

    "demonstrate positive energy in purifying cyberspace."

    Speaking as one who has been on the net since the early 80's, before China was, and most likely before Jack Ma had ever heard of it, this is how I think you purify cyberspace.

    You bring freedom back. You stop turning it into an Orwellian mechanism for social control and surveillance. This message could stand to by heard by China, by the US, by Asia, by Europe, by the Middle East, and everywhere really. It COULD have been an unprecedented tool to enable human freedom. Instead, it has been co-opted by authoritarians everywhere and is moving more and more away from that, towards a means of "soft oppression". Sometimes hard oppression too, but mostly soft oppression. And techies everywhere are sitting on our asses and watching it happen.

    Either people all across the world rise up and take back the internet, or I'm not sure the cat is ever getting back into the bag again. Too many now no longer remember the internet as it was before the authoritarians got to it.

    The window is closing. The good guys do not appear to be winning.

    • You bring freedom back. You stop turning it into an Orwellian mechanism for social control and surveillance.

      It is a beautiful dream - it would have appealed a lot in the 60es and 70es, but it is just a dream. Just like the myth of unregulated capitalism or perfect communism. People don't really want "Freedom" - they just want their lives to be comfortable, safe and satisfying, tomorrow the same as today, give or take a few inches. I don't even think the people who talk about some idealised, perfect freedom actually want that; they just want enough freedom to do the things they want to do without having to pay too

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Bad guys in a movie are identifiable at first glance, but how can the ones in real life be found?"

    Overwhelming amounts of evidence against them [youtube.com], and they'll lie in the face of it, despite incontrovertible proof. [zerohedge.com]

    • "Bad guys in a movie are identifiable at first glance, but how can the ones in real life be found?"

      Overwhelming amounts of evidence against them [youtube.com], and they'll lie in the face of it, despite incontrovertible proof. [zerohedge.com]

      Well done Mr. AC. It also highlights both the need for civic privacy and government transparency when it comes to catching criminals. Government transparency is something I doubt we will see any time from China or the U.S.

  • The mainland Chinese speak and write in double entendres, similar to how dissidents communicated in the Soviet Union.

    I'd be careful about judging Mr. Ma's statements on their face. He has no choice but to officially tow the party line, or else risk surrendering his entire fortune and spending time in prison.

    Maybe Mr. Ma is a true believer, but I have my doubts. The last thing Ma would ever want to do would be to give President Xi a reason to purge him, as he has done with many of his competitors inside and

  • Why again do we give China favored trade status when all it does is evil?

    • Re:Trade Status? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @08:54PM (#53143637)

      Because they hold us by the balls and own an increasing portion of our companies.

      Next question?

    • by myid ( 3783581 )

      Why again do we give China favored trade status when all it does is evil?

      Because it's profitable to sell things there, it's relatively cheap to manufacture things there, and as Opportunist says, "Because they hold us by the balls and own an increasing portion of our companies."

      Here's what our government should do:

      1) Make a list of things in which the US should be self-sufficient, so that Xi Jinping can't threaten to withhold them from us. This list would include raw materials, finished products, factories, tools, skilled laborers, and skilled managers. (By "skilled managers", I

  • yes, lets use big data analitics to create tons of false positives in an endless feedback loop (because the metrics we use to determine disloyalty and impurity will absoutely include search term related to our arrests, and purely poitical punishments, legal or otherwise, of anyone we find disfavorable), and impose ideological purity requirements that come straight out of a George Orwell novel, because that is what is all the rage for major superpowers to do this decade!

    Just look at how effective the collabo

  • China’s data capabilities are virtually unrivaled among its global peers

    [Citation Needed]

    by Bloomberg News
    ...
    — With assistance by Yinan Zhao, and Lulu Chen

    Oh I see what's happened here.

  • by paiute ( 550198 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2016 @04:38AM (#53144781)
    I'm still trying to figure out how the Communist Party in China reconciles the heritage of Mao with the existence of billionaires.
  • So basically this guys is asking their government to pull an NSA on their citizens. Good thing it's China then. Don't know about you but I'm gonna scale da fck down my Ali-Express shopping starting right now. It's not like what they have can't be found on ebay or other chinese wholesale-2-consumer competitors anyway.

  • Crime prevention by repression (i.e. law enforcement) must never go beyond what is needed to keep society functioning. Otherwise you end up with a non-free society in the form of a police-state. Sure, crime is a nuisance, but absence of freedoms is an extreme problem. Even if the police were able to catch all criminals, it must never be allowed to do so. Note that I explicitly exclude preventing and reducing crime by improving living conditions, sense of community, education, etc. These activities are hugel

  • Can't blame them. The gop just wants to stop all of the liberal criminals, as long as they let conservative criminals like Hastert go.

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