Past Event

Vanishing Freedom in China and Beyond at the Hands of Technology

October 19, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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Zoom Webinar

A conversation featuring:

Darren Byler, Author of In the Camps, China’s High-Tech Penal Colony


Andrew J. Nathan, Columbia Professor of Political Science

Moderated by:
Nicholas Lemann, Director of Columbia Global Reports; Dean Emeritus of the Journalism School; Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism

Author Darren Byler and Columbia political science professor Andrew J. Nathan discuss the surveillance network China created to locate and detain more than a million people. The conversation will be moderated by Columbia Global Reports Director Nicholas Lemann.

Darren Byler’s new book In The Camps exposes the high-tech system of facial surveillance, voice recognition, and smartphone tracking technology, built by private corporations, that the Chinese government is using to keep Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and Hui in high-security camps and associated factories in China’s vast northwestern region of Xinjiang. It is the largest internment of religious minorities since World War II. Worryingly, the technology is being activated in more places -- in the US and around the world. This panel will discuss what high-tech tracking technology means for convicting people of “pre-crimes,” surveillance, and freedom.

Online registration is required for those who wish to submit a question during the event. 

This event is cosponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and Columbia Global Reports.