The proliferation of Chinese surveillance tools overseas: sovereignty, resistance, and debt – Law School: Events The proliferation of Chinese surveillance tools overseas: sovereignty, resistance, and debt – Law School: Events

The proliferation of Chinese surveillance tools overseas: sovereignty, resistance, and debt

The proliferation of Chinese surveillance tools overseas: sovereignty, resistance, and debt

In-person event

The heightened public and scholarly attention to Africa-China relations is chiefly inspired by the growing trade, investment, and aid between Beijing and the Global South. More specifically, the research on digital surveillance in Africa focuses largely on the wide distribution of Chinese technology, drawing attention to the fact that regime type is a poor predictor of the purchase and use of that technology.

Questions concerning how digital technologies work, their high local demand, and how they alter or do not alter state capacity have received far less study. More importantly, though, the literature that has already been written ignores an important paradox: if increased digital surveillance is wanted to support government authority because of its ability to police and administer, it may also work against state sovereignty.

Note, in the latter regard, that digital surveillance tools are embedded within processes that result in the privatization of the state. The outsourcing of its functions to Chinese tech giants, like Huawei, has transformed the government, done within the context of a supposedly weak African state that seeks to ameliorate its inefficiencies, in part, into a holding company in the business of franchising out many operations, including police services, and hence much of its sovereignty. This is all done within the context of supposedly weak postcolonial states that seek to improve their states’ practical and technical inefficiencies.

In this presentation, we explore how postcolonial states seek to use scientific knowledge and technology to scale state capacities. Accordingly, it interrogates claims around China’s growing technological footprint, the role of those technologies in emergent forms of state-corporate venture, the nature of African developmental states, and challenges to local data privacy.

This is the first event in the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law HDR/ECR series.

About the speaker

Bulelani Jili is a Meta Research PhD fellow at Harvard University. His research interests include ICT development, Africa-China relations, cybersecurity, post-colonial thought, and privacy law. He is also a visiting fellow at Yale Law School, a cybersecurity fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, a scholar-in-residence at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a visiting fellow at Hong Kong University Law, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a research associate at Oxford University.

Commentator: Jose-Miguel Bello Villarino, Sydney Law School

Moderator: Jie (Jeanne) Huang, Sydney Law School

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Thursday 8 August, 2024

Time: 11.30-12.30pm

Venue: Law Lounge, Level 1, New Law Building, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney, Camperdown campus

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CPD Points = 1 point

This event is co-sponsored by the China Studies Centre and the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law.

 

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Date

Aug 08 2024

Time

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

More Info

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Location

Law Lounge, Level 1
New Law Building Annex (F10A), Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney (Camperdown Campus)

Organizer

Professional Learning & Community Engagement
Phone
02 9351 0248
Email
law.events@sydney.edu.au
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