Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s in-the-works Saudi Arabian megadevelopment NEOM is being touted as a futuristic paradise — but tech privacy pundits are concerned for the rights of residents.
We told you last year about the super-cities being planned in Saudi Arabia by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. NEOM is the main city, and its subdivisions, or regions, are called THE LINE, OXAGON, TROJENA and SINDALAH. The idea is a sustainable 15-minute city that, despite its glamourous and beautiful marketing, reminds me of a high-tech prison. In 2023, we find that the crown prince is floating a partnership with the Communist Chinese which would take the project to a whole new level, and a whole new outcome. Kinda feels like somebody might have tried this before, right? Get ready for launch in 2024.
“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4 (KJB)
The whole world is rushing to single access point, everything digital, everything electric and everything sustainable. The deeper you dive into it, the more it becomes apparent that when they say something is ‘sustainable’, it’s akin to Soylent Green, the Stepford Wives and Minority Report. As beautiful as the images from NEOM are, make no mistake about it, NEOM is a cage meant to trap and hold prey. The only question is just how big the cage will be.
Saudi Arabia’s futuristic new city could be ‘scary’ surveillance state
FROM THE NY POST: Known as Neom, the $1 trillion city is a pet project of the prince and is set to feature an artificial ski resort, robots and AI for the project’s inhabitants, and two 1,600-foot-high buildings running parallel to each other across a 75-mile strip of desert and mountains, as The Post previously reported.
There will be 10 regions, including a zero-carbon area called THE LINE where AI will use 90% of inhabitants’ data to personalize services — far more than the approximately 10% of resident data used in current smart cities, Insider reported.
“NEOM is designed to leapfrog those other smart cities, to begin from the ground up in sort of an entirely designed fashion to collect data and use that data for the purposes of the city,” James Shires, a researcher at London’s Chatham House think tank, told the publication.
This has a concerning amount of potential to mutate into less of a science fiction dreamscape than a metropolis at the mercy of state surveillance, warned Marwa Fatafta, a policy manager for the digital rights organization Access Now.
Mohammed bin Salman surveillance city NEOM rolling out in 2024
NEOM is a region in the north west of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. NEOM means ‘new future’ and with more than 2,800 staff – from 86 countries – already living and working here onsite, it has already become a home for people who dream big and want to be part of building a new economic model for the country and the world.
Although Neom and other cities like it are being marketed as “smart” or “eco cities,” they’re actually “surveillance cities” because “essentially they’re built on an architecture that is fueled by people’s personal data, and in a country like Saudi Arabia where there is no data protection or safeguards, no oversight, no accountability, no transparency, no separations of powers, and the fact that Mohammed bin Salman is actually ruling the security agencies,” Fatafta told Insider, adding “It is a scary idea.”
China is playing a major role in distributing surveillance technology, so as to enable the creation of such cities — part of the nation’s leader Xi Jinping’s larger plan to “normalize and seek to legitimize its vision of a state-led cyberspace and surveilled public,” Harvard University fellow Bulelani Jili commented to Insider.
It would appear that the Saudi Prince — whose ties with Jinping have recently grown stronger — is eager to assist in realizing this vision on a grand scale. READ MORE
This Is NEOM from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
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The post 2024: Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Launching NEOM As The First Of Many 15-Minute Surveillance Cities In Partnership With Communist China appeared first on Now The End Begins.