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  • China is the largest police state in the world.

  • It uses surveillance to go after dissidents and minorities.

  • And who helped them build that surveillance?

  • Microsoft and other American tech companies!

  • This is how they did it.

  • Welcome back to China Uncensored.

  • I'm Chris Chappell.

  • The Chinese Communist Party has built

  • the world's most advanced systems of mass surveillance.

  • And this is the laboratory where the Chinese regime

  • tests this new technology:

  • The region of Xinjiang,

  • home to a mostly Muslim ethnic Uighur population.

  • The surveillance includes a network of

  • 40,000 facial recognition cameras,

  • as well as collecting DNA samples,

  • fingerprints, iris scans,

  • and blood samples from most Xinjiang residents.

  • It's the dystopian nightmare everyone warned us about!

  • But we here in America didn't simply sit idle

  • while the Chinese regime was building

  • this Orwellian system.

  • In fact, our companies actively helped!

  • US tech companies knowingly worked with the Chinese military,

  • as well as with private Chinese companies

  • contracted to do work for the Chinese government.

  • The problem is what's called dual-use technology

  • tech, like facial recognition,

  • that has both civilian and military applications.

  • There's very little regulation of this.

  • According to Foreign Policy,

  • “U.S. Congress and government officials

  • have yet to call for a review of the extent of

  • U.S. investment and research partnership entanglements.”

  • The Commerce Department has proposed

  • some rules for emerging tech,

  • but the scope is unclear.

  • Fortunately, at the end of last year,

  • Microsoft truly stepped up to the plate.

  • They said there's a need forpublic regulation

  • and corporate responsibility.”

  • Wow, good for Microsoft.

  • Except...

  • Microsoft ignored both public regulation

  • and corporate responsibility

  • by working with the Chinese military.

  • According to a report last week in the Financial Times,

  • Microsoft has worked with a Chinese military-run

  • university on artificial intelligence research

  • that could be used for surveillance and censorship.”

  • Well, that's awkward.

  • Over the course of a few months last year,

  • three published papers were co-written

  • by the Microsoft team in Beijing,

  • and researchers tied to China's

  • National University of Defense Technology.

  • That university is controlled by China's top military body,

  • the Central Military Commission.

  • Which is headed...

  • by Chinese presitator Xi Jinping.

  • But how could Microsoft know all that?

  • I mean, the University only has

  • defense technologyin its name

  • and also the military symbol in its logo?

  • That's like going to Burger King

  • and being surprised when they have burgers.

  • And kings.

  • One paper that Microsoft worked on describes

  • “a new AI method to recreate detailed environmental maps

  • by analysing human faces,

  • which experts say could have clear applications

  • for surveillance and censorship.”

  • What a coincidence!

  • Because that's the very same kind of technology

  • they're using in Xinjiang to track the Uighurs!

  • But it's dual-use technology.

  • It could have civilian applications

  • or military applications!

  • How was Microsoft to know that the military university

  • would want to use it for military applications?

  • Now US lawmakers are calling out Microsoft for what they've done.

  • Senator Ted Cruz,

  • hey...nice beard,

  • saysAmerican companies need to understand that

  • doing business in China carries significant and deepening risks.

  • In addition to being targeted

  • by the Chinese Communist party for espionage,

  • American companies are increasingly at risk

  • of boosting the Chinese Communist Party's

  • human rights atrocities.”

  • That's crazy.

  • An American company knowingly helping

  • a murderous regime persecute people?

  • What are they, IBM?

  • Senator Marco Rubio said Microsoft is complicit

  • in the Chinese regime's human rights abuses.

  • It is deeply disturbing that an American company

  • would be actively working with the Chinese military

  • to further build up the government's surveillance network

  • against its own people

  • an act that makes them complicit

  • in aiding the Communist Chinese government's

  • totalitarian censorship apparatus

  • and egregious human rights abuses.”

  • In fact, he and Congressman Chris Smith spearheaded

  • this bipartisan letter urging sanctions on China

  • for the treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang.

  • It was signed by 9 Republicans,

  • 7 Democrats and one independent.

  • To which I say,

  • good for the Chinese Communist Party

  • for finally bringing Democrats and Republicans together.

  • Now Microsoft has defended their work

  • with the Chinese military university.

  • Their official response to the Financial Times was,

  • The research is guided by our principles,

  • fully complies with US and local laws,

  • and...is published to ensure transparency

  • so that everyone can benefit from our work.”

  • I mean, if their principles are to make lots of money

  • while technically not breaking any laws,

  • then yeah, I guess they are guided by their principles.

  • My favorite Chinese state-run media, the Global Times,

  • defended Microsoft.

  • It wrote that the Chinese director of the research

  • slammed the accusations as subjective interpretation,

  • saying that 'he who has a mind

  • to beat his dog will easily find his stick.'”

  • Oh yeah?

  • Well just because you pointed out the stick

  • doesn't mean you were beating a dog.

  • Or something.

  • It sounded more folksy in my head.

  • The point is,

  • this isn't Microsoft's only shady connection

  • to mass surveillance in Xinjiang.

  • In February, a European research team discovered that

  • a Chinese company called SenseNets

  • had a totally open, unsecure database

  • of 2.5 million Uighurs in Xinjiang.

  • The records tracked everything from each person's ID number,

  • birthday, address, ethnicity, employer...

  • as well as updated GPS coordinates that could tell if,

  • for instance,

  • this particular person was visiting a mosque.

  • Any I know that sounds creepy,

  • but have you considered this?

  • Maybe the police are just tracking everyone's ID,

  • birthday, and location so they know where to deliver

  • their state-sponsored birthday cake!

  • Surprise!

  • And that image is my birthday present to all of you.

  • But back to creepy surveillance.

  • The company handling all this tracking, SenseNets,

  • listed Microsoft as a partner on their website.

  • Now, Microsoft has since said SenseNets

  • was lying about that partnership...

  • and offered, well, very little proof to back that up.

  • But SenseNets has removed Microsoft's logo now,

  • so that's good enough.

  • But Microsoft's relationship with Chinese mass surveillance

  • goes even deeper.

  • The three papers the Financial Times discovered

  • underscore Microsoft's...long-running links

  • to Chinese military-funded academia,

  • including its operation of several 'tech clubs'

  • for students at Chinese universities

  • known to have military links.”

  • In fact, Bill Gates got Microsoft into China

  • by building a personal relationship

  • with former Chinese leader

  • and murder toad Jiang Zemin.

  • And Jiang Zemin's son owned a 50% share

  • of the MSN China website.

  • But before you say,

  • Wow, Microsoft is the worst”...

  • I should tell you that there are actually

  • lots of American companies and organizations

  • doing shady things in China.

  • Like Cisco.

  • Cisco helped build China's Great Firewall.

  • That's the Communist Party's internet censorship system

  • that prevents Chinese netizens

  • from accessing dangerous websites, like YouTube.

  • And a leaked internal powerpoint presentation

  • showed that Cisco was very aware that

  • one of the Chinese regime's goals for the Great Firewall

  • was to target Falun Gong and other Chinese dissidents,

  • helpfully calledhostileshere.

  • Falun Gong is the main group

  • the Chinese regime was persecuting at the time.

  • Falun Gong practitioners' main thing is

  • hour-long meditation and exercises

  • which, I have to say, is an incredibly boring thing

  • to put under surveillance.

  • But hey, I'm not the one paying for it.

  • So Cisco took a look at how the Chinese Communist Party

  • was monitoring and arresting all these people and thought,

  • what a great opportunity to sell more routers!

  • Anyway, it's not just Cisco.

  • Top American University MIT

  • has a wide reaching partnership with SenseTime.

  • SenseTime is a world leader in AI facial recognition technology.

  • It also owns a 49% stake in SenseNets,

  • that company keeping on eye on 2.5 million Uighurs.

  • The one that Microsoft claims is totally not a partner.

  • And SenseNets is mainly owned by its Chinese parent company Netposa.

  • In 2010,

  • Netposa got some big investment from

  • an American venture capital firm:

  • Intel Capital.

  • It's “where great companies are built.”

  • Which is good,

  • because Netposa has been doing its own investing

  • in US robotics startups.

  • Like Bito robotics.

  • It's led by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Netposa also invested in Exyn,

  • a drone software company,

  • which is competing in an AI challenge run by DARPA.

  • DARPA is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

  • That's the part of the US Defense Department

  • responsible for the development of emerging technologies

  • for use by the military.

  • If you're like me,

  • you know about DARPA thanks to Metal Gear Solid.

  • You're the DARPA chief Donald Anderson, right?

  • No, Snake!

  • That's Decoy Octopus

  • disguised as DARPA Chief Donald Anderson,

  • and the FOXDIE virus the Pentagon injected you with

  • is going to give him a heart attack!

  • But...what about the Pentagon?

  • Pentagon?

  • Nnnggghhhh!!!

  • What is it?!

  • Whyyyy?!

  • Told ya.

  • Most of what I know about DARPA comes from a video game.

  • Anyway, as I mentioned earlier,

  • the Xinjiang government is also monitoring Uighurs

  • using their DNA.

  • And guess who's helping?

  • More American companies!

  • Up until this February,

  • the American company Thermo Fisher

  • was selling DNA sequencers

  • directly to Xinjiang authorities.

  • This Yale professor shared DNA samples

  • with China's Ministry of Public Security.

  • I mean come on!

  • How can you be a Yale professor

  • and not understand what theministry of public security

  • gets up to in an authoritarian state like China?

  • California-based Amax works on computer deep learning.

  • They have a partnership with China's state-owned Hikvision, and...

  • ...ok you know what?

  • I'm just going to stop here

  • otherwise this episode will be like 10 hours long.

  • And I don't think our video editor Seamus would like that.

  • But these American tech companies should know better!

  • It's well known that Chinese companies

  • built the internment camps in Xinjiang.

  • Chinese companies built the technology