Digital Technology, the Formation of a Mass Surveillance System, and the Future of Chinese Governance

Document Type : Research Article


1 Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 MSc in Political Sociology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


This article focuses on the experience of the Chinese government in using digital technologies to collect and analyze data related to its citizens to demonstrate the effects of using these technologies in governance. The article shows that over the past two decades, the Chinese government has created a mass surveillance system by combining several digital technology-based programs, whose primary function is to collect and analyze massive amounts of data related to the visible and hidden activities of Chinese citizens in various areas of their lives. This mega program aims to create the basis for intelligent governance based on accurate data from citizens. In the discussion of the consequences of this mass surveillance system, the article emphasizes two categories of positive and negative effects resulting from implementing this plan. The positive side provides a basis for designing specific policies and efficient implementation in various areas of governance. On the other hand, it lays the groundwork for realizing a mechanism for the intelligent suppression of citizens that gives unprecedented dimensions to communist authoritarianism. The article emphasizes that these two positive and negative sides are intertwined and inseparable from each other.


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