More than 30 Chinese military and government agencies have reportedly been using drones made to look like birds to surveil citizens in at least five provinces, according to the South China Morning Post.
The program is reportedly codenamed "Dove" and run by Song Bifeng, a professor at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi'an. Song was formerly a senior scientist on the Chengdu J-20, Asia's first fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, according to the Post.
The bird-like drones mimic the flapping wings of a real bird using a pair of crank-rockers driven by an electric motor. Each drone has a high-definition camera, GPS antenna, flight control system and a data link with satellite communication capability, the Post reports.
The robotic birds wing flapping is so realistic other real birds will flock with the robotic ones - real pigeons can't tell the difference between the robotic ones and themselves.
Beijing's surveillance technologies, however discreet, can be avoided. But these drones will open a "new level of intrusiveness," Timothy R. Heath, senior international defense research analyst at global policy think tank The RAND Corporation said.
"Although the bird drones will likely be deployed in restive provinces like Xinjiang, any Chinese person should assume that their behavior could be under surveillance and their behavior recorded, no matter where they go outdoors," he said. "China's use of bird drones will extend the government's surveillance to a frightening new level."
China also employs facial recognition, artificial intelligence, smart glasses and other technologies to monitor its 1.4 billion citizens with the aim of one day giving each of them a personal score based on how they behave.
What happens if they weaponize the birds??? They could carry little missiles or dive bomb people.
The Chinese are also working on robotic roaches that can crawl around
people's homes and surveil them. What if they have Roaches attack people in the middle of the night, or children to punish bad parents? The potential for abuse is infinite.