China's Surveillance State Extends Beyond Its Borders

The Chinese state is widely using technology not only to track its own citizens, but to exert power beyond its borders. A new US Senate Report accuses china of  of "digital authoritarianism" and warns that China's mounting influence on the digital sphere could soon overshadow that of the US and expresses concern about its export of surveillance technology.

Last month two Chinese Hackers working with the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) were charged by the US Justice Department with global computer intrusion campaign targeting intellectual property and confidential business information, including COVID-19 research

Prosecutors said the two men spied on a Massachusetts biotech firm in January which was known to be researching possible cures for Covid-19. They also hacked a Maryland company less than a week after it said it was researching Covid-19. Officials called the men private hackers who occasionally received support from Chinese intelligence agents, including an officer from the MSS. “Today’s indictment demonstrates the serious consequences the Chinese MSS and its proxies will face if they continue to deploy malicious cyber tactics to either steal what they cannot create or silence what they do not want to hear,” said an FBI spokesman.

Following the US Dept. of Justice’s announcement of charges relating to cyber-attacks against institutions in 11 countries, including the UK, the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “China is engaged in malicious cyber-attacks against commercial, medical and academic institutions, including those working to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.... Our message to governments prepared to enable these activities is clear: the UK will continue to counter those conducting such cyber attacks, and work with our allies to hold perpetrators to account and deter further malicious activity around the world.”

The US Justice Department stated that two Chinese hackers, infiltrated the Australian defence contractor’s web server. The hackers stole a significant number of documents, including source code for the company's products.

The US government also accused hackers of compromising network of a solar energy engineering firm in Australia. In the initial reports, Australia did not reveal the suspects, but the sources confirmed China to be responsible behind the series of cyber-attacks.The FBI also accused China of trying to hack into universities and drug companies working on possible COVID-19 vaccines.

US Dept.of Justice:       GovUK:       BBC:       BBC:    Kalkin Media:       Reuters:
 

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