US Passes Uyghur Human Rights Law Condemning Mass Surveillance

By Charles Rollet, Published Jun 18, 2020, 07:27am EDT (Info+)

The US government has passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, prominently criticizing the PRC government's "gross violations of human rights" and "mass surveillance" in Xinjiang.

IPVM Image

The law may impact global video surveillance manufacturers through potential sanctions on companies and individuals along with human rights investigations.

In this post, we examine this legislation and its effects, including:

  • Ceasing PRC "Mass Surveillance" Now Official US Policy
  • "Senior" Chinese Officials Sanctioned; Could Hikvision Be Included?
  • Report Mandates "List of Chinese Companies" Involved
  • Hikvision/Dahua Impact: Mainly More Bad PR
  • Other Manufacturers Potentially At Risk

Law Background

The act was signed by President Trump yesterday and is now official US law:

IPVM Image

Co-author Marco Rubio (R-FL) tweeted he hoped it would "hold China accountable for grotesque human rights violations" against Uyghurs:

IPVM Image

In response, the PRC Foreign Ministry said it "strongly deplores" the law:

China strongly deplores the US signing into law of the "Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020". We urge the US side to respect China's counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts, stop applying double standards on counter-terrorism issues, and stop using Xinjiang-related issues as a pretext to interfere in China's internal affairs.

Ceasing PRC "Mass Surveillance" Now Official US Policy

The law makes ceasing PRC "use of mass surveillance" in Xinjiang official US-China policy:

United States policy toward the People’s Republic of China should be explicitly linked with the situation in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, specifically as to whether [...] the use of mass surveillance and predictive policing to discriminate against and violate the human rights of members of specific ethnic groups has ceased and is not evident in other parts of China [emphasis added]

The law also calls out violations of religious freedom in Xinjiang, specifically the:

particularly severe restrictions of religious and cultural practice

Although the law doesn't mention Hikvision and Dahua, it's clear the two firms are part of the mass surveillance/religious freedom problem, having won over $1 billion in direct PRC government mass surveillance projects in Xinjiang. Examples of their Xinjiang work include:

"Senior" ***** ********* **********

* **** ****** ** *** *** is *********** "****** ******* ********* ***** officials" ******** ** ******** ***** ****** abuses. * **** ** ***** ********* will ** ********* ****** *** ****, i.e. ******** ** ****. *** *** explicitly ******** ********'* ***** ********* ********** ****** ****** ***** ************ ********* ** ***** ***********.

***** *** ****** ********* *********, ***** mean ****** ******, ** ******/**** ****, and * *** ** *** ************ with ** ********. *** *** ****** these ********* ** ** ****** ** "in *** ******** ********* ** *** United ******".

Possibility ** ***** ************ ********** ***** **********

IPVM Image

*** *** **** *** ******* ***** surveillance ********** ** ********* *******, **** senior ***** *********. *******, ** ** possible **** *********'* ******** **** ******** will ** ********, ** ** *** ****** ** *** *** ********** and ***** ******.******** *** ******* ************ *** ***** ****** *********** ***** ********** *********** ** * separate ******.

********* *** ***** ************** **** *********** ******** ***** ****** ****** *** their ********** **** *** **** ** it.

******: *** ** ********** ** ************* Religious ******* (******), * ******* ********* ******* ********,*** ****** ******* ** ** *** ** *** officials ********** ** **** *** ***:

** **** *** ***** ************** ** swiftly ********* **** *** *** ** sanctioning ********* ***** ********* **** *******, former ********* *** ***** ******* ********** Chief *** ******,Hikvision ******** **** ********, and any other Chinese official responsible for the crimes against humanity occurring in Xinjiang [emphasis added]

*** ***** ** * ***** **** USCIRF **************** *****. *********** ****** **** ********* ** ****** *** *********'* "******* religious ******* **********".

Report ******** "**** ** ******* *********" ********

*** *** ***** **** ****** ** video ************ ************* ****** ***** * harsh ** ********** *********, ** ** mandates * ** ********** ****** **** includes * "**** ** ******* *********" involved ** ******** "************ **********":

*list ** ******* ********* that are involved in [...] providing or operating mass surveillance ********** in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

* *********** ** [...] ***acquisition ** *********** ** ********** by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to facilitate internment and mass ************ in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, including technology related to predictive policing and large-scale data collection and analysis

**** ****** ** *** "******** *** economic ************" ** ** ** ********* within *** ****, *.*. ** ***** 2021, *** **** ** ******* ** the ********* ** ***** *** ******** of ******** ************.

*** *** **** ******** * ******** report **** *** ********* ** ***** on "***** ****** ******" (**** *** in *** ****) ***** ******** ** assessment ** *** "**** ************" **** in ********:

**assessment ** *** **** ************, predictive policing, and other methods used by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to violate the human rights of persons in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region [emphasis added]

Video ************ ************ **** ********

*** ***** ************ *************, ***** ***** in *** ** ***** ******* ******* serious ************ ****, *** *** ***-** manufacturers, *** *********** **** **** **** pave *** *** ** ****** ** government *********.

*** ********* *** *****, ***** **** have******* **** **********, **** ***** ****** ** **** bad **.

Concrete ******* ** ** ****, **** ********

*** ******* ** **** *** ***** have *********** ******* ** ***** ************ but *** ******** ****** ******* ******* until ***** ***** ** ********* *** individuals ***** **** *** ***** ****** reports *** ******** ** *** ****** months. **** **** ****** *** ****** accordingly.

Comments (8)

Glad to see that this has become actual law. Unfortunately, I am skeptical of any actual impact other than the bad PR that you mention.

Agree: 6
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Should be interesting to see if China reversed the role and lists England for all their public cameras. For years they were the leader due to the IRA bombings.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

They could try that but that is even beyond comparing apples to oranges in terms of usage. The only thing related there is they are both using "cameras".

Agree: 1
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

I’m not going to defend China, but you have to recall Huawei trying to sue the US because they felt the US actions were “un-Constitutional”

China claims the primary purpose is anti-terrorism. England installed one tunnels for anti-terrorism. It’s not such a stretch for them to make the claim for propaganda.

Here, from a likely unreliable source is a counter argument:

US Human Rights Violations

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Sorry, I thought you were specifically referring to the IRA days of England using cameras, not their present-day use.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Feel-good legislation that will change nothing.

On the other hand, perhaps Hikvision should be encouraged to provide analytics for human rights violations. If their technology for that purpose is as atrocious as all their other analytics, Uyghurs could benefit from all the bad data it provides!

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

GJ Charles R. !!

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

UPDATE: the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a federal religious freedom watchdog, has called for Hikvision's chairman Chen Zongnian to be one of the officials sanctioned by this new law:

We urge the Trump Administration to swiftly implement this new law by sanctioning Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, former Political and Legal Affairs Commission Chief Zhu Hailun, Hikvision Chairman Chen Zongnian, and any other Chinese official responsible for the crimes against humanity occurring in Xinjiang [emphasis added]

The above is a quote from USCIRF Commissioner Gary Bauer.

IPVM covered USCIRF last month when it called out Hikvision's "serious religious freedom violations".

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 4
Unhelpful
Funny
Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts reporting, tutorials and software funded by subscriber's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.
Loading Related Reports