China’s use of technology for social control of its citizens is extensive – but it could affect users elsewhere too, says security analyst Samantha Hoffman

Samantha Hoffman is an analyst of Chinese security issues at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (Aspi). She recently published a paper entitled Engineering Global Consent: The Chinese Communist Party’s Data-Driven Power Expansion.

Internet pioneers heralded a time when information would be set free, giving people everywhere unfiltered access to the world’s knowledge and bringing about the decline of authoritarian regimes… that’s not really happened has it?
Bill Clinton said that, for China, controlling free speech online would be like “nailing Jell-O to the wall”. I wish he had been right. But unfortunately, there was too much focus on the great firewall of China and not enough on how the Chinese Communist party was trying to shape its external environment.

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