Big Brother Was Watching

When it comes to spying on its own people, China has revealed a surprising -- and daunting -- competence. Few in Beijing paid much attention to the cameras mounted on lampposts, rooftops and entryways along streets foreigners frequent. The SCOOT system, made by a British firm and purchased partly with development aid, was purportedly installed as part of a traffic-control system to count vehicles. The cameras were also secretly counting contacts between foreigners and Chinese, as John Pomfret, the A.P. correspondent expelled last week, found out. The Beijing State Security Bureau documented its charges against him with, among other evidence, photos...

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