China leaked chat logs expose scope of state surveillance

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A leak of around 364 million online records in a Chinese database has exposed the massive scope of state surveillance in China, according to the Financial Times.

According to security researcher Victor Gevers at Dutch non-profit GDI Foundation, who found the database, the files show GPS locations, file transfers, identity card numbers and chat logs.
According to Gevers, the database was freely accessible online to anyone with the IP address, and user profiles were stored together with photographs, addresses and locations.
He also added that the main database was providing information to 17 other servers depending on which area the data came from.
According to the Financial Times, a large number of the records had the names and addresses of internet cafes on them.
According to AFP, Chinese law requires internet cafes to record the identities and "relevant" online activity of users, and provide them to the public security bureau on request. This has lead to the growth of internet cafe monitoring software.
The records in the databases have labels referring to Chinese social-media apps like WeChat and QQ, in addition to WeChat payment records and QQ account numbers.
According to the AFP, Gevers also found another publicly accessible database that contained personal information such as ethnicity and GPS tracking data of 2.6 million people in Xinjiang. Access to this database, however, has since been closed.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Leaked online records on database
2. Database accessibility and information stored
3. Internet cafe
4. Xinjiang database

VOICEOVER (in English):
"A leak of around 364 million online records in a Chinese database has exposed the massive scope of state surveillance in China."

"According to security researcher Victor Gevers at Dutch non-profit GDI Foundation, who found the database, the files show GPS locations, file transfers, identity card numbers, and chat logs."
"According to Gevers, the database was freely accessible online to anyone with the IP address, and user profiles were stored together with photographs, addresses and locations."
"The records in the databases also have labels referring to Chinese social-media apps like WeChat and QQ, in addition to WeChat payment records and QQ account numbers."
"According to the Financial Times, a large number of the records had the names and addresses of internet cafes on them."
"According to AFP, Chinese law requires internet cafes to record the identities and 'relevant' online activity of users, and provide them to the public security bureau on request. This has lead to the growth of internet cafe monitoring software."
"According to the AFP, Gevers also found another publicly accessible database that contained personal information such as ethnicity and GPS tracking data of 2.6 million people in Xinjiang. Access to this database, however, has since been closed."


SOURCES: Financial Times, France 24
https://www.ft.com/content/1e0365f0-3e73-11e9-b896-fe36ec32aece
https://www.france24.com/en/20190307-china-chat-log-leak-shows-scope-surveillance