A leak of around 364 million online records in a Chinese database, including private messages and ID numbers, has again highlighted the size and scope of Beijing’s mass surveillance system.
The files show a wealth of information linked to online accounts, including GPS locations, file transfers, and chat logs, according to the database discovered by Victor Gevers, a security researcher at Dutch non-profit GDI Foundation.
The data collection appears indiscriminate — some conversations are simply banter between teenagers, like one commenting on someone’s weight and clothing size.
“They know exactly who, when, where and what,” Gevers told AFP, explaining that thousands of records were piped daily to different databases for local law enforcement to review.
Government procurement documents and database records shared by Gevers show that the database is linked to an “internet cafe management system” developed by HeadBond.com, a tech firm based in eastern Shandong province.
In 2017, the public security bureau in Yancheng city, eastern Jiangsu province — where at least one internet cafe named in the database is based — contracted HeadBond for a system that monitors online activity at internet cafes.
On its website, the company calls its internet cafe management system “the best solution” for identifying online users for police on its website.
HeadBond declined to comment, and the Yancheng city government and public security bureau did not respond to AFP’s request for comment.
BEIJING, March 7 (Reuters) – China’s ruling Communist Party is ramping up calls for political loyalty in a year of sensitive anniversaries, warning against “erroneous thoughts” as officials fall over themselves to pledge allegiance to President Xi Jinping and his philosophy.
This year is marked by some delicate milestones: 30 years since the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in and around Tiananmen Square; 60 years since the Dalai Lama fled from Tibet into exile; and finally, on Oct. 1, 70 years since the founding of Communist China.
Submarine robots with artificial intelligence will be the only inhabitants of the eerily-named base.
The project reportedly has a budget of an eye-watering 1.1 billion yuan (£113 million GBP).
And experts predict the task will be so difficult, the budget could be exceeded.
The base is planned to be built at a depth between 19,685 and 36,100 feet.