September 12, 2013
In Tibet, Cell Phones Become 'Embodiment of Fear'
Radio Free Asia reported that Beijing sent special groups of mobile phone technicians to examine the phones of monks from Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple, Ramoche Temple and Ganden Monastery in March. Lhasa’s monasteries were also going to be checked over a period of a few months. All monks that are caught having messages or images that “harm the safety of the country” stored in their mobile phones would be faced with strict measures and might even be arrested.
According to reports, the inspection work group collects all phones in a monastery and spends four or five days checking them without the monks being able to see. Moreover, whenever the inspection teams are carrying out their work, they are accompanied with fully armed military police. Often they search one or two of the monks’ residences and turn them upside down; such situations are actually quite frequent since March 2008.
[…] In short, the reason why the country’s power is directed at certain groups of people in certain places by collecting their mobile phones, is for one to examine them and to threaten the people, but what is more dangerous is that perhaps, it is to install an application on each phone, through which information about the users can be collected, leading to personal information about the user being revealed without him or her being aware of it. Casting such a vast dragnet across an entire area equals to turning the mobile phone that everyone carries around with himself or herself into a self-monitoring policeman.
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