Chinese Police Are Forcefully Installing Spyware Into Smartphones For Spying; Tourists Being Targeted
China has taken to enforcing some unbelievably harsh measures on tourists that are crossing into Xinjiang as a part of keeping an eye on the remote region of Xinjiang.
The police standing at the border of Xinjiang are forcefully installing surveillance apps on the smartphones of tourists coming into the autonomous territory from Kyrgyzstan through the Irkeshtam border.
This app that the tourists are forced to install in their smartphones is a form of malware which gives the Chinese authorities full access to the tourists’ messages, and other data as well.
What is China’s motive behind this forceful installation of apps on tourists? Read on and find out more!
China Guards Forcing Tourists To Install Spying Malware
An investigation by The Guardian, The New York Times, Motherboard, Süddeutsche Zeitung and German broadcaster NDR has brought the whole thing under the spotlight.
Apparently, the Chinese guards standing at the border of Xinjiang are in the practice of actually grabbing tourists’ smartphones under the pretext of ‘routine screening of smartphones’, after which the guards install this surveillance malware into smartphones. While Android phones are stuck with this spyware, iPhones are thoroughly examined through a scanner.
What’s more, is that tourists don’t have the slightest inkling of the capabilities of this app, or what information is being accessed by the officials.
What Does This App Do?
The name or any other details of the actual app are not known and it is just being called ‘China’s secret surveillance app’.
This app comes with malware that can steal texts, and enables authorities to freely access and download text messages, phone logs, calendar entries, emails, contacts, and other sensitive data. They also forcefully gain information about the device itself.
The app checks the phones against a list of content, which is severely anti-Muslim.
The Grave Situation at Xinjiang
The Chinese Government has specifically targeted the Muslim population of the Xinjiang region, and are carrying out extreme surveillance of them.
Maya Wang, China senior researcher at Human Rights Watch said that this app is another example that shows the extreme to which mass surveillance is done in Xinjiang.
She also said, “We already know that Xinjiang residents — particularly Turkic Muslims — are subjected to around-the-clock and multidimensional surveillance in the region. What you’ve found goes beyond that: it suggests that even foreigners are subjected to such mass, and unlawful surveillance.”
Do you think this is China’s attempt to access and fish for data on the smartphones of unsuspecting public? Share your opinions with us right below!