In this Aug. 6, 2008, file photo, Uighurs rest near a food stall and Beijing Olympic Games billboards in Kashgar in China's western Xinjiang province. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
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Human Rights Watch says it has found new evidence authorities in one of China's most repressive regions are sweeping up citizens' personal information in a stark example of how big-data technology can be used to police a population. The rights group used publicly available government procurement documents, media reports and interviews to assemble details of the policing program, called the "Integrated Joint Operations Platform," in Xinjiang, a sprawling area in northwest China that security officials say harbors separatist and religious extremist elements.Although surveillance is pervasive in many countries, including the United States, and has the potential for abuse, the technology is being deployed far more broadly in Xinjiang, said Maya Wang, senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch and the report's author.China's 10 million Uighurs already face a raft of restrictions not imposed on people of the Han ethnicity, who are the overwhelming majority in China.
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