Uganda is using Huawei’s facial recognition tech to crack down on dissent after anti-government protests


Long before the Nov. 18-19 protests in Uganda that left more than 50 people dead, opposition politicians, and local activists had warned about the potential abuse and human rights implications of an invasive surveillance system bought by the government last year from China’s telecoms giant Huawei.

The fear was, that in the hands of corrupt public officials or under a repressive regime the integrated system which uses facial recognition and other artificial intelligence systems but is also able to check vehicle license plates and monitor social media, would be used to suppress individual freedoms of anyone in opposition to the government.

The latest protests, which were triggered by the arrest of two presidential candidates hoping to put a halt to president Yoweri Museveni’s 34-year rule, seem to have confirmed those fears.

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