From flashing laser lights at security cameras to wearing masks, protesters in Hong Kong are using crude technology to defeat one of the most sophisticated mass surveillance systems in the world.
China rolled out a surveillance system employing “gait recognition technology” to identify individuals in a crowd earlier this year. Residents of Hong Kong protesting against a proposed extradition law fear that they will be identified and later prosecuted and are covering themselves up hoping to prevent being recognized.
The sophisticated system uses body movements, iris scan and some other parameters to identify individuals in a crowd and track their every movement using GPS coordinates. It can also identify individuals wearing loose clothing, caps, gloves, mufflers or holding umbrellas.
Now, the protestors have reportedly launched a counter-attack, by creating “Dadfindboy,” a new channel created on Telegram application, in order to identify plainclothes cops.
According to the New York Times, channel also included tips on how to shoot a slingshot, how to make a blow torch, and surveyed users on the best way to handle police, with the options prison, gas chamber, live burial, guillotine, and machine-gun execution. There is no evidence suggesting that the forum has prompted violent acts.
During yet another such protest on Sunday, some of the Hong Kong residents are said to have aimed laser pointers at cameras and spray-painted surveillance cameras outside of the government liaison office, to dodge the police.
Colin Cheung, one of the protestors, claimed to have tried working on a facial recognition tool previously, that used an algorithm to match photos that had been posted on the internet with photos of police officers, to enable identification of “corrupt” cops in civilian attire.
Beijing-based North Industries Group Corp Ltd (NORINCO) announced the building of a new frontier and coastline surveillance system with high level accuracy to identify human and other targets using the BeiDou Satellite Navigation System, or BDS, at its core. Called BeiDou+ Land and Maritime Defense and Control System (BLMDCS), the system will provide high precision monitoring and communication capability for border defense personnel.