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A data leak from Shanghai reveals Uyghurs and foreigners’ surveillance by the Communist government

Aktuálně.cz, in collaboration with the Australian security firm Internet 2.0, investigated the leak of Chinese security forces databases in Shanghai. It provides a comprehensive overview of the electronic surveillance system of Chinese Communist Party opponents and Uyghur minorities. However, the Chinese government monitors foreign diplomats and scientists in real time in its territory. He has detailed records of them.

Once a foreigner enters the Chinese border in Shanghai, his name, face, date of birth or occupation is immediately entered into the immigration database. But this is only a small part of the massive system of twenty-seven million cities connected with security cameras. He can monitor and record in real time the movements of anyone whom the Communist government considers a threat. Or a person worthy of her interest.

The names of foreign ambassadors or Western technology entrepreneurs are mixed with Chinese citizens. At the same time, according to the United States, Canada or the Netherlands, China, where representatives of minorities commit genocide, is dominated by “marked” individuals for surveillance.

This is because part of a database with more than 1.1 million records has been leaked, which is managed by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, a local police force. The census provides a unique comprehensive overview of the technologies used by the Communist government in China to monitor the population.

Aktuálně.cz analyzed the data leak in collaboration with experts from the Australian security firm Internet 2.0. They found that it linked to data obtained by automatically identifying faces or vehicle registration plates and monitoring the movement of people by cameras. But it also draws information from criminal records, immigration databases, lists that block access to the Internet or vehicles, and information gathered about important companies.

He has a consulate in Shanghai, Czechoslovakia. Last year, the city suspended official relations with Prague in response to the signing of a joint agreement with the Taiwanese metropolitan city of Taipei by the mayor of Prague, Zdenek Hype (Pirates).

Australian technologists were surprised by the strength of the Shanghai system. “The information stored in the database is more comprehensive than we have seen before. It depends on the very large systems that are significantly improved in scope and scope rather than operating in democracies,” said Robert Potter and David Robinson, founders of Internet 2.0.

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For example, Chinese officials may use citizens visiting “inappropriate” websites to make explosives with a list of employees who have access to raw materials at local companies.

An “inappropriate” click on the web can lead to tracking

The data obtained shows that a person can access a list of monitored persons by visiting a website that the Chinese government deems inappropriate for reasons within the database.

As for foreigners, the government relies on the data they receive when they enter the country. Australian experts also found former Australian secret officials, government employees and advanced technology developers on the list of people being monitored. But so are their children.

Aktuáln knows all six Czech names, which are listed on the leaked piece of the database. They arrived in Shanghai from 2018 to 2020 for business or tourism.

Based on another leak, the authors have already pointed out that a company affiliated with the Chinese security forces similarly collected general personal data about hundreds of people around the world and directly in the Czech Republic from the Internet or the media. BIS Counter-Director of Intelligence Zdeněk Koudelka said such data could be used to further target intelligence operations and agency recruitment.

The current leak of security machinery operations in China has provided little insight into a comprehensive camera network that allows Chinese authorities to monitor people’s movements in real time. Available data shows the location of automatic face detection cameras and license plate readers managed by local security forces in the port of Shanghai. Their database is full of information about the movements of specific individuals and cars, which are assigned to time and place.

Using cameras in the ports of 26 million metropolitan areas of Shanghai and its environs.

Using cameras in the ports of 26 million metropolitan areas of Shanghai and its environs. | Photo: Internet 2.0

As for criminal databases, experts estimate that they also contain records that Western countries record to protect the public from criminals. But also records of irrelevant political comments. Crimes other than rape, drugs or arson include “meetings for the purpose of disturbing public order” or “for the purpose of attacking a public institution.” Even the terrorism that China often attributes to the Uyghur minority.

The second linked database records responsible employees who have recorded “inappropriate behavior” on public transportation.

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The entire set of leaked data demonstrates how strongly the government is focused on the comprehensive monitoring of minorities. “According to the database, most of those who have become the target of surveillance and investigation are members of ethnic minorities, mostly Uyghurs,” the IT experts said. The nationals make up 93 percent of the government’s watch list of dangerous Internet users. At the same time, Uyghurs are often branded as terrorists.

About 93 percent of Internet users on the watch list with the Shanghai police are Uyghurs.

About 93 percent of Internet users on the watch list with the Shanghai police are Uyghurs. | Photo: Internet 2.0

Experts: This is digital racism

Experts point out that the Chinese Communist Party has been developing its influence in recent years in closely monitoring the population with the help of modern technology. And it is especially focused on the Uyghur minority.

“One of the most worrying aspects is that automated surveillance systems, in their technical specifications and practical application, openly focus on ethnic minorities, which leads to a kind of digital racism that is currently directed primarily against Turkish minorities,” Martin Hela said. Sinologist. And Director of the Synopsis Project Researching China.

For example the Washington Post Last year’s informationChinese technology company Hawaii has tested a face recognition system that automatically alerts authorities when a camera captures a member of the Uyghur minority.

“The use of automated digital systems for highly effective population control is one of the key innovations of the Leninist organization in the People’s Republic of China. It refers to the fulfillment of the Leninist ideal of control, ”says Hala in general.

Western nations have gradually acknowledged that the Uyghur genocide is taking place in China. In February, a resolution to this effect was unanimously approved by the Canadian Parliament. Earlier, the United States described the operation against the Uyghurs at the same time, for which then-Vice President Mike Pompeo and 26 others received sanctions from China. The Netherlands became the first European country to declare Uyghur genocide.

China denies any allegations. He strikes sharply, for example, the German anthropologist Adrian Jens, who Uyghur He has been dedicated for many years to the minorities living in Xinjiang. For example, he revealed how big the re-education camps really are, the Chinese government holds one million people, or imprisoned women are subjected to sexual violence. He also brought evidence of forced labor by the Uyghurs.

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Jens is now facing a lawsuit in China for defaming Uyghur forced labor, which led to a ban on imports of goods to the United States. The case was filed by several Xinjiang companies in early March, followed by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Many Xinjiang companies and residents have suffered huge losses since the unfounded Jens rumors of “forced labor,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry. “They hate them and hate such malicious acts,” he added.

China retaliates by warning of genocide through sanctions

One week ago, for the first time in three decades, the European Union condemned human rights abuses in China. The foreign ministers of the member states, along with the United States, Great Britain and Canada, agreed to adopt sanctions against those responsible for the treatment of minority Uyghurs. The Chinese parliament has responded by imposing its own sanctions on some members of the European Parliament. At the same time, the expansion of bilateral relations has come at a time when MEPs need to negotiate an investment agreement between the EU and China, which was negotiated shortly before its end to the German presidency.

Meanwhile, the Czech parliament is also looking into the matter. In its March session, the House Foreign Affairs Committee called on the Andrei Babish (yes) government to “express a clear and principled position on total human rights abuses in Xinjiang.” The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to discuss the issue in April.

“Instead of calling the EU delegation to deny information about the ‘re-education’ of Yugos in camps, broken families or torture, it is beginning to allow everyone to talk about it,” said President Powell Fischer. Team.

In response to evidence of genocide, some Western fashion brands have announced that they will not be using cotton from Xinjiang province, claiming that it is grown through slave labor. In response, the Chinese boycott Swedish clothing retailer H&M stores or shoot videos on the social networks of their sneakers from the American brand Nike.

Those in the camps must memorize Chinese laws, pronounce the Communist Party, and abandon Islam, says Sinologist Ondiz Climac. | Video: Emma Smedana

Eric Daniel
Eric Daniel
"Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Bacon ninja. Music specialist. Twitter nerd."

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