China’s spy ministry warns of environmental data theft by foreign NGOs

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China’s top spy agency warned foreign NGOs and foundations on Monday that two organizations had stolen “environmental data” from China in the name of research and environmental protection.

The allegations were outlined in an article posted on the Ministry of National Security’s WeChat public account, which stated that “geographical, meteorological, biological and other sensitive data from China’s important nature reserves poses a risk to national security.” and pose a danger,” he said, referring to two theft cases. .

In the first case, an anonymous national professor announced that he had “illegally collected” data from unspecified national wetland reserves and forest areas.

The ministry announced that the professor confessed to collecting and stealing data “under the cover of academic cooperation.”

The ministry said the academic had been punished, but did not say what kind of penalty was imposed.

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In another case, a “foreign university”, with the support of a foreign NGO, collaborated with the scientific management department of a national nature reserve in southwestern China.

The foreigners “instructed and coerced” local officials to “illegally steal various types of sensitive data from nature reserves” through various enticements, including sexual acts, it said.

The ministry said the NGO had a “complex background” and was helping “the theft of core sensitive data” from “certain Western countries” under the cover of project cooperation.

This data was obtained through “the installation of weather stations, infrared camera equipment, GPS mapping, and the theft of sensitive computer data.”

These actions “caused significant damage to our ecological security,” it said.

The article also warned of the risk of environmental data being leaked from Chinese companies and government agencies, saying that some information management systems have backdoors and that “foreign adversaries could be targeted to steal our nation’s sensitive and confidential data.” “There is,” he said.

The ministry called on the public to be wary of environmental espionage and report possible cases to authorities.

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The Chinese government followed suit in July last year by revising the agreement. Anti-espionage law It expanded both the definition of espionage and the investigative powers of state security agencies.

The department’s public warning is the last in a series of posts the department has made over the past year.

This institution, which is originally full of mysteries, Increasingly active on social mediaIt warned of the threat posed by foreign spies and called on the public to share information about suspicious activity.

The department also covers a broader range of threats.

Chen Yixin, Minister of National Security The ministry announced last month that it would protect not only “traditional” security areas such as political, economic and military security, but also “non-traditional” areas such as biosecurity, data security and artificial intelligence.

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