Under the surveillance of suspicious Chinese cameras

Entry type: Single project

Country/area: Kosovo

Publishing organisation: Sbunker

Sbunker’s mission is to strengthen and promote liberal democratic values in Kosovo, influencing and shaping the public sphere through new media products.

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 2022-09-29

Language: English, Albanian

Authors: Fitim Gashi (author)


Fitim Gashi is a researcher at Sbunker. He is part of the project: “Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub”. Gashi has 10 years of journalism experience, as a senior journalist, at “KOHA Group”, covering politics, social and justice issues in Kosovo. For his work, Gashi is awarded with several prizes by local and international organizations. He also has participate in many international programs for the promotion and advancement of professional journalism.
Gashi is a graduate with an MA degree in Political Science and Public Administration.

Project description:

The in-depth story “Under the surveillance of suspicious Chinese cameras” focuses on the influence of China, throughout technology equipments. Although not to the same extent as with other countries in the Balkan region where cooperation extends to the sectors of economy, technology, the communist state is present in Kosova mainly through surveillance cameras. Our research has found that there are cameras installed in many Kosovo’s institutions. But, there were concerns about illegal data collection, form the company which are on the black list. During our investigations, the government of Kosova terminated the contract with the companies.

Impact reached:

Through this research, has been presented the real situation regarding the cameras that are installed in state institutions and public spaces. The story also provides a broader context of Chinese influence in this field, offering examples from other countries in the region, international policies in addressing this issue as well as solutions that are intended to be implemented in the future, to provide more data protection security. One of the immediate effects was the termination of contracts with suspicious companies.
This article was published in the framework of the regional initiative to combat foreign maligne influences from Russia China, which includes Kosovo, Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Techniques/technologies used:

The research is based on the data provided by the state institutions, the contracts of the companies that have carried out the supply of cameras, also have been researched. Other sources are the officials of institutions that deal with the protection of citizens’ data, online data in the field of technology. The article was written after the stage of collecting them and examining all aspects.

Context about the project:

The perspective offered by the research is not only local, but also regional and global, as it sheds light on the problem of surveillance of citizens by suspicious cameras. Also, evidence has been brought regarding the illegal introduction of many equipments from China, mainly through Serbia as a border state with Kosovo.

What can other journalists learn from this project?

They can learn how to collect data on a sensitive topic like this with technological devices, how to collect and official documents, how to research data online. Also, the lesson given is how to protect the state and citizens from the risk of disclosure of personal data.

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