The Chinese “Social Credit” system employs nearly total surveillance, censorship and informers to maintain individual accounts for each citizen. A low score can prevent travel or desirable employment or worse. The monitoring uses GPS, facial recognition, internet activity, cell phone tracking and the informers to keep the accounts up to date. Big Brother has arrived in China and by 2024 is expected to include everyone. Well, every ordinary citizen. The primary evils of such a system are its unavoidable arbitrariness and its inherent corruption: higher scores bought with bribes or influence and lower scores used to punish or coerce the innocent. Plus too many live in fear.
In the United States, the same sort of system is taking shape from multiple directions. Facebook, You Tube, Twitter et al now censor internet posts and close offending accounts. The TSA stops and searches travelers, confiscating certain goods and denying travel to selected individuals. The National Security Agency (NSA) has been outed for its excessive electronic snooping and government has everyone’s bank accounts at its finger tips. Cell phones are increasingly tracked and “security” cameras are appearing everywhere. So far though, only financial folk are keeping score on us so far as we know.
But a figure skater’s recent suicide may warn us that the next step is falling into place in the U.S. . Past U.S. pairs champion John Coglin committed suicide after allegations of sexual abuse led Safe Sports and U.S. Figure Skating to suspend him from coaching the sport. Apparently he was accused by an adult and when that became known, two minors piled on. No evidence was published and no investigation completed when the suspensions were imposed. Coglin had responded to the initial accusation by calling it unfounded. Nevertheless, he was quickly deprived of his career by administrative fiat.
Sexual abuse is a crime in the United States. The U.S. Constitution requires that criminals are accorded due process, which includes a fair trial and the right to face accusers. But Coglin was not provide those protections; he was instead quickly wiped from his career by bureaucrats. Safe Sports and U.S. Figure skating are both U.S. government dependencies; their power is delegated to them by the Federal Government. Apparently, Constitutional requirements do not follow that delegation. Coglin is not alone.
A recent Supreme Court appointment ratification (Justice Kavanaugh) was loudly opposed on unsubstantiated sexual abuse alleged to have occurred when the candidate was a juvenile. Important corporate officers are now forced out over vague and often unsubstantiated allegations; more than 250 U.S. celebrities, CEOs, producers and other powerful men have lost or given up their positions in the face of such allegations since April, 2017. All of this is a direct result of mostly, left wing political pressures; these days it’s the Left that insists upon altering human behavior. Put another way, it is today’s version of lynch mobs and is done for political, not moral, reasons. The response from media, law enforcement and politicians is encouragement or at best, silence. No disapproval. Never mind the Constitution; it’s out of date anyway.
These are all the pieces needed for a Chinese Social Credit system; the technology is already in place. All now lacking is for the government to step in to regulate things, likely beginning with the internet. And of course, to prevent the public from successfully trashing politically important folks. At today’s rate of progress, that shouldn’t take too long … It’s already underway, isn’t it?