Villages gain public security systems

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/4/2 22:23:40

Access through phones, TVs forms part of national surveillance network

Citizens in some Chinese villages are able to access public surveillance systems through phones and TVs as part of the country's vast surveillance network, a Guangzhou-based company said on Monday.

Using an app, citizens can access the surveillance system surrounding their neighborhood through their phones or televisions. They can report to police any suspicious activities, Zhang Jun, deputy director of product management of the Guangzhou AEBELL Electrical Technology, told the Global Times on Monday.

The app is part of a State project called Xueliang, or "sharp eye." The app is now available in some villages in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, Zhang said.

The project has several suppliers, including the company Zhang is working for, which is a State-owned military enterprise.

The Xueliang project was written into the "No. 1 central document," a national strategy of rural vitalization released in February. The project is part of the public security surveillance network, the Legal Daily reported.

According to the 13th Five-Year Plan, China is expected to build a public surveillance networking system by 2020 that basically covers all regions. 

A surveillance system helps to reduce village security problems and assists police in apprehending criminals, a Hebei Province policeman told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.

Major streets, neighborhoods and key public places are under 24-hour surveillance, he said.

"Surveillance devices serve as the extension of the police's eyes. They can effectively deter criminals and reduce the crime rate in villages," Xie Zhiyong, a law professor at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, told the Global Times on Monday.

"Rural vitalization cannot be achieved if citizens do not feel secure," Xie said, adding that local governments need to protect people's privacy when installing cameras.

To avoid personal information leaks and better protect privacy, China should clarify in a national document the legal definition of private and public places and regulate the surveillance system in different places, Wang Fu, a Beijing-based lawyer, told the Global Times.

The company Zhang is working for has so far cooperated with the local governments of Heilongjiang, Sichuan and Guangdong provinces, Zhang told the Global Times.

Information and data can be directly acquired through surveillance platforms that link with hardware, such as real-time cameras on major streets, neighborhoods and other public venues, Zhang said.

Data security should not be a concern, since government departments, such as public security bureaus, have their own specialized networks and the platforms are kept classified to suppliers, Zhang added.

The Xueliang project was launched in 2015 by nine central government departments, and the first 48 pilot cities were released in 2016.

Linyi in East China's Shandong Province was the project's firstly pilot city. As of February, there were more than 360,000 cameras installed in Linyi, the Legal Daily reported.

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