Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird – or is it?
Residents of at least five Chinese provinces have every reason to question what they see flying around overhead. China has added surveillance drones that look like pigeons to their arsenal of totalitarian police state weapons.
Aptly code-named “Dove,” the Chinese government citizen surveillance program hides the new spybots in plain sight. As of late June 2018, “more than 30 military and government agencies have deployed the birdlike drones and related devices.”
The majority Muslim Uygurs who live in the autonomous Xinjiang region, located on the western side of China, can say goodbye to their privacy rights. Dovebots are only the latest of many other progressively intrusive snooping systems underway there and in other parts of China noted for undesirables and enemies of the state.
The sinister situation in China is alarming. Human rights activists have protested the fact that:
“Chinese authorities over the past two years have escalated security and surveillance operations across Xinjiang, widely using technology to track the local Uygur population as well as other Muslim minorities.”
Professor Song Bifeng at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xian, the capital of northwestern China’s Shaanxi province, is spearheading the fascist program. Song worked as a senior scientist on the J-20 stealth jet program.
Each Dove weighs 7 ounces, has a wingspan of 20 inches, and can fly at speeds up to 25mph for a maximum of 30 minutes.
The new Dove drones mimic live birds: they flap their wings while they climb, dive, and make aerial turns. This makes them harder to distinguish from the real things. The Drone team wants to build fake spybot birds that can evade human detection and even radar completely.
These Dove robotic birds reportedly simulate 90 percent of the movements a real dove can make, which is an astonishing engineering feat. The Doves make so little noise that other real birds often accompany them in flight.
A flock of sound-sensitive sheep in northern China’s Inner Mongolia did not stir, much less spook, when a flock of Doves was deployed over them. Are you creeped out yet?
“Each machine is fitted with a high-definition camera, GPS antenna, flight control system and data link with satellite communication capability. The flapping mechanism comprises a pair of crank-rockers driven by an electric motor, while the wings themselves can deform slightly when moving up and down, which generates not only lift but also thrust to drive the drone forward,” according to the South China Morning Post.
Onboard software stabilizes the camera to provide sharp images and clear video. The drone system features a GPS antenna, flight control system, and satellite data connection.
One of Song’s work associates candidly admitted that Doves are not the first high-flying robotic spies roving the skies of China. Yang Wenqing said of the fledgling technology:
“The scale is still small compared to other types of drones in use today.”
In 2012, an eagle-sized robotic bird named “Tian Ying” was developed by Aeronautics and Astronautics team at Nanjing University. The Harbin Institute of Technology, China’s leading university for defense research, is developing another large bird robot with a large wingspan, designed to operate in the thin air above high-altitude plateaus.
As for the future in China, anyone concerned about civil rights violations might not agree with Professor Song’s stated goal:
“The next generation of robotic birds will be able to fly in complex formations and make independent decisions in the air thanks to advances in artificial intelligence.”
In China, resistance is basically futile. Political dissenters go to jail or simply disappear. The South China Morning Post reported:
“Public debate on the subject is more restrained though, with many resigned to the fact that individual rights are subordinated to state interests.”
Other statists who stand to profit from the emerging industry of Chinese spybotics are putting a positive spin on the situation. Liu Haifeng, vice-general manager at Xindehui, a subsidiary of the leading national digital forensics and information security products and service provider, Meiya Pico, said he saw surveillance tech as a positive.
“It is impossible for people, especially the younger generations, to live without electronics” so escaping suspects “can never get away.”
Ultimately, the purpose of all this data collection is complete population control by the Chinese government. Anyone suspected of criminal activity will be identified and picked up in a matter of minutes under the new AI-enhanced security infrastructure.
Will other countries, including the United States, follow China’s lead and use robotic birds – or bees – to track every individual’s movements around the clock, never tiring?
Let your elected representatives know that spybots posing as birds or other life forms is an unacceptable violation of our Constitutional rights. Buzz off, Doves!