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China's new Scotland Yard tech crackdown

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Chen Quanguo, the official directing China’s clampdown in its restive Xinjiang region, has emerged as a pioneer of aggressive policing techniques—setting the tone for the country’s shift toward harsher, technology-driven authoritarian rule.

As Communist Party chief for Xinjiang for the past 2½ years, Mr. Chen has created a policing regime unmatched in scale and sophistication. He brought some of his techniques from earlier provincial posts, including in Tibet, and expanded them with new technology and tactics.

He installed thousands of high-tech police stations throughout Xinjiang and tapped big data to enforce order and monitor citizens. Police use hand-held devices to scan photos, messages and other data in residents’ mobile phones, searching for sensitive material.


Campaigners have said plans for social media companies to be legally required to protect their users from harmful content, with senior management held personally liable for any failings, will make the internet a safer place for children.

A government White Paper on online harms published today sets out plans for a regulator to ensure internet companies including social media platforms abide by a mandatory duty of care to their users.

Charities called for the reforms to be swiftly implemented amid widespread concern about the risk of sexual grooming online and the growing toll on young people’s mental health from harmful content.


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