The Chinese government has always been interested in keeping files on citizens. In the past, each citizen had a dang’an, or file, that covered their life. Nothing could be done without the dang’an. Everything was entered in it: marriage, social position, job. But this was, by necessity, pretty rudimentary. The magic weapon now being created can update that surveillance for an infinitely more complex age by tying all manner of information to a person’s personal ID number.