April 10th, 2012
04:28 PM ET

Zakaria: Ai Weiwei and Chinese surveillance

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

What caught my eye last week was an art installation by the Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei. He put surveillance cameras up in his house in Beijing, four of them in all, and earlier this week he began streaming them live on a website call Weiweicam.

This was a protest against another form of surveillance, this one by the Chinese government - the police cameras trained on his house, the frequent searches Ai says he is forced to endure and the monitoring of his phone and computer.

But in a move that may not surprise you, four days later the Chinese government told Ai Weiwei to take down the website.

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Topics: From Fareed • Last Look

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. jal

    People know when they are being watched. Even animals do. That is why I feel so uneasy at zoos. I love animals though, so it is a tough one...

    April 10, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  2. j. von hettlingen

    Ai Weiwei has established himself as an authority in China. His international influence is significant, therefore the authorities want to monitor his moves.

    April 11, 2012 at 5:03 am | Reply
  3. urgent

    Fares Raslan MD

    خبر عاجل وهام جدا جدا ::::::
    تقوم المخابرات العامة في دمشق بأخذ كميات من الدم الفاسد من المشافي الحكومية الى افرع السجون حيث يتم حقن المعتقل بكمية 5 سم من هذا الدم وعلى اثرها يتوفى وفاة طبيعة /يرجى النشر لجمعيات حقوق الانسان/
    By: شبكة اخبار حمص العدية (عاصمة الثورة السورية)
    reliable sources from my collegues syrian doctors in syria .
    the intelligence services in syria are collecting spoiled blood and injecting forcefully prisioners with 5 ml of it to let them die naturally ...please share to human rights watch and all human organizations around the world ....
    also they are sending 50 truks aday since 3 months ago those trucks going to hizboallah south of lebanon , full of weapons , cash, arms, rockets, and some chemical weapons please take a note this is an eye wotness ....why no body is doing any thing to those thugs , war criminal shiia thugs?

    April 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  4. Pete

    Bush,our last elustreous leader, gave us BIG BROTHER in a modern twisted sort of way.Bin Laden swore he'd get to us mentally ,not financially,but he got to Bushs hairbrained mentality first.That's why all of us are suffering from surveillance disease,a common disorder found in countries with chickin sh_t presidents scared of their own shadows.We have cameras,patdowns ,frisking going in and out of everything,cell phone GPS monitering chips,what else can we ask for.Anal searches,they're almost here,just a matter of time,ya know...We're catching up to the watchdog kings,China,Russia and the other countries listed in the free world,ha ha,what a joke.Bush sold our liberties for a box of twinkies and seniors now magazine,what a deal....Just watch the skies,because they're watching you back......

    April 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  5. pmcdonald

    Who spends most on domestic surveillance, US or China? Who spends most on domestic security and law enforcement, US or China? Who spends most on international security, US or China? Which is really the most paranoid and largest "security state", US or China?

    April 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  6. omar faruq

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    September 22, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  7. Access Control Gates

    As we all know that CCTV camera is necessary. With the help of CCTV camera we can notice each and every moment. It plays a very important role to stop crime. You have mention a very nice information about the cameras. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Access Control Gates

    October 6, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply
  8. Jiang

    Excellent article, Fareed, KEEP IT GOING, MAN!

    December 20, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Reply

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