GPS tagging in China

Started May 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
Bjorn Holmsen
New MemberPosts: 10
Re: Using GPS is technically illegal in China
In reply to Dan 1964, Apr 17, 2013

No one cares as long as you do not do anything "sensitive", such as taking pictures in border regions or near military or other important installations. Or should you happen to take pictures of protesters somewhere, or police arresting someone. Then they may confiscate your equipment or even expel you from China if they think it is a serious or intentional offense.

Some foreigners, American I think, have been charged with espionage for using GPS units in sensitive areas. (Do not know what happened to them.)

The GPS in your camera may not be the problem, for instance if you took pictures of protesters, but they may use that as an excuse to do what they decide to do, eg confiscating your camera or the card in it.

That is the way rules work in the PRC, and this most foreigners do not understand. The rules and law in China are tools the rulers use to exercise discretionary powers. I do not even think most rules are meant to be strictly followed. Even the most law-abiding citizen or corporation can only comply with perhaps 80% of the rules; the rest can be used any time, either as a punishment, or as a deterrent; they will always have something to nail you with, should they need.

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