AP: China bars millions from travel for ‘social credit’ offenses


It is too easy to think of China’s social credit system as foreign, even exotic. If you are paying attention, the West has been building elaborate social credit systems of its own in recent decades.

7 thoughts on “AP: China bars millions from travel for ‘social credit’ offenses

  1. Think of reputation brokers like the Southern Poverty Law Center, for instance, or media more generally with its penchant for destroying careers with harangues over “badthink.” Think of the Chamber of Commerce or the Better Business Bureau. Or Facebook/Twitter/Google.

    Something seems to be needed, but what?

    An Internet Bill of Right is a popular proposal in some quarters. The difficulty is in how to write it; what should the language say?

    Our Western legal traditions are based on observing natural rights that we presume all persons are born with, plus the principle of non-infringement. What natural right(s) would an Internet Bill of Rights protect?

    Our rights to free speech and to be secure in our persons and our homes, among others of relevance to social credit systems, are already protected to a degree. Except to make abortion legal, a right to privacy is nowhere assumed in our system, much less the right to control what others think or say about us. The main threat social credit systems pose is the threat of publicity.

    Working backwards from that, infringement of the natural right of secrecy may be what we wish to prevent. But a natural right of secrecy is an unsatisfying notion. Ultimately, it runs smack into conflict with, for example, our instinct that secrets undermine contracts. Secrecy and liberty cannot coexist.

    But if a coherent legislative philosophy is impossible, what then? Having raised the issue, I expect we’ll have to ignore it, mostly. Our principle of natural rights in law is neither perfect, not complete, nor capable of infinite expansion. Besides, as China shows us, the more pressing concern is simple corruption.


    1. “Secrecy and liberty cannot coexist.”

      Tell that to the gun lobby who are adamantly against registration of guns so that no government entity, or other citizens for that matter, have a clue as to who owns what.

      But more to the point, Europe has very stringent personal privacy laws. So they don’t get all the robo-calls and unwanted financial and other marketing based on lists that every Tom, Dick and Harry can buy to maximize big data information on us. People have to opt in to give up data. Not like here where we have to opt out, and most of the time all that does is confirm the number or address is current.

      Why? Because we worship big business over individual rights. Always have and always will.


      1. I’m opposed to gun registration, too, but not for any reason related to a right of secrecy. Registration is simply a gratuitous burden on the rights of ownership. More than that, it is an opportunity for the abuse of confiscation. Not to mention conflicting with our already established right to keep and bear arms.


        1. ā€œ Not to mention conflicting with our already established right to keep and bear arms.ā€

          How would registration conflict? If a well regulated militia is necessary for our security then knowing who has what is pretty important in case of invasion or an attempt to rebel or overthrow our government.

          Finally, considering we lose as many Americans to gunfire as automobiles how is registration for guns gratuitous and cars important?

          Registration would not prevent you from buying an arsenal. Or bearing one. Or selling one.

          Rights have responsibilities.


          1. RE: “How would registration conflict?”

            As an opportunity for the abuse of confiscation.

            RE: “how is registration for guns gratuitous and cars important?”

            Both are burdens on the rights of ownership. Both are “gratuitous” burdens with respect to those rights specifically, although you seem inclined to think there are good reasons for them otherwise.

            RE: “Registration would not prevent you from buying an arsenal. Or bearing one. Or selling one.”

            So you say, but some people don’t and won’t buy guns they have to register.

            I understand the concept, but I don’t subscribe to the principle that rights have responsibilities.


  2. Interesting that you focus on the Southern Poverty Law Center whose mission is to track and expose hate groups and POTENTIAL terrorist organizations. They do not name, shame or track individuals – only organizations. Hardly comparable to what China seems to be doing.

    It is also worth noting that they apply their hate group criteria (similar to the FBI’s) objectively and have both White Nationalist and Black Nationalist organizations listed. For example, here are the groups they try to monitor in Virginia . . .



    1. Interesting that you feel the need to defend the SPLC. They do, indeed, name, shame and track individuals. Their Hatewatch database, for exmple, returns 637 results for “donald trump”. Separately, their collection of “Extremist Profiles” covers 130 individuals including, laughably, Alex Jones.


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