TODAY IN SECURITY: Beijing installs 1,300 security cameras in public parks

By Nona Tepper, October 9, 2014

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Nearly 1,400 security cameras were installed in 11 of Beijing's parks- likely including Chaoyang, Ditan and Ritan Park- in the name of security on October 4. The camera's arrived during peak park season, when smog covers the city like a child's blanket and cold grips citizen's bones like a stranger offering candy. Perfect time to take a stroll. 

China's obsession with security cameras began in 2005 when the state began building "Skynet," a nationwide security system that awkwardly shares a name with the evil computer system featured in "Terminator" movies. Today more than 100 million security cameras dot the country, lining streets, recording temples and photographing classroom walls. 

In 2012, the China University of Politics and Law in Beijing installed security cameras in its classrooms to prevent cheating. But Liu Xin, who teaches administrative law, believes the school actually planned to target teachers criticizing China's legal system.

"Because things are recorded, once they suspect certain teachers are problematic ... they can find the recordings and that means they've found evidence," Liu told National Public Radio

She said cameras will intimidate instructors from talking about the reality of China's legal system in front of students, and inspire them to just teach straight from the books.

"I think teachers will lose interest and students will lose interest as well," she says.

There is an estimated one camera for every 43 citizens in China. The state's camera sales are expected to grow 15- 20 percent annually over the next five years.



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