China Harvesting Social Media Data On Western Targets To Equip ‘Government Agencies, Military And Police’: Report

China is leveraging its massive surveillance network to harvest the social media data of Western targets, according to a Washington Post review of “hundreds of Chinese bidding documents, contracts and company filings.”

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is mining Western social media — such as Facebook and Twitter — to “equip its government agencies, military and police with information on foreign targets.”

“China maintains a countrywide network of government data surveillance services — called public opinion analysis software — that were developed over the past decade and are used domestically to warn officials of politically sensitive information online,” The Washington Post explained. “The software primarily targets China’s domestic Internet users and media, but a Post review of bidding documents and contracts for over 300 Chinese government projects since the beginning of 2020 include orders for software designed to collect data on foreign targets from sources such as Twitter, Facebook and other Western social media.”

These documents also indicate that “agencies including state media, propaganda departments, police, military and cyber regulators are purchasing new or more sophisticated systems to gather data.”

“These include a $320,000 Chinese state media software program that mines Twitter and Facebook to create a database of foreign journalists and academics; a $216,000 Beijing police intelligence program that analyzes Western chatter on Hong Kong and Taiwan; and a cybercenter in Xinjiang, home to most of China’s Uyghur population, that catalogues the mainly Muslim minority group’s language content abroad,” The Washington Post added. – READ MORE