Following the 1989 Beijing massacre, PRC authorities interrogated thousands of people, subjecting some of them to torture, in an attempt to identify the demonstration�s organizers. But even if the students and workers had resisted the terrors of the secret police, the hapless protestors stood little chance of escaping the net. Stationed throughout Tiananmen Square is a network of UK-manufactured surveillance cameras, originally designed to monitor traffic flows and regulate congestion. These cameras recorded everything that transpired in the months leading up to the tanks rolling into the city.
In the days that followed the massacre, carefully edited images were repeatedly broadcast over Chinese State television. Virtually all the wanted suspects were identified in this way. Siemens Plessey, which manufactured and exported the cameras, and the World Bank, which provided a loan that paid for them, claim they never had any idea that their �technologically neutral� equipment would be used in this manner.
But the lesson did not seem to have sunk in. In 1995, the World Bank authorized further funds to set up an identical traffic flow monitoring system in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Lhasa is not, as yet, known for having problems with traffic congestion; besides, the Barkhor, the area in which the traffic flow system is in operation, is pedestrianized.