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Huawei’s Surveillance Technology Program “Safe Cities” Now Active in 12 African Countries

Huawei’s “Safe City” products have fueled concerns that China is “exporting authoritarianism.” Among the “solutions” Huawei sells globally under this label are facial and license-plate recognition, social media monitoring, and other surveillance capabilities.

The Washington, D.C.-based think tank CSIS published a new report today on the global reach of Huawei’s “Safe Cities” products that include facial and license-plate recognition, social media monitoring, and other surveillance capabilities. 

CSIS researchers Jonathan Hillman and Maesea McCalpin provided a detailed analysis of which countries use “Safe Cities” and then categorized them by “freedom score.” In Africa, according to their findings, 12 countries use the service including Ethiopia, Cameroon, and Angola which are all ranked low on their freedom score.

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