China uses mobile app to track Muslims in Xinjiang

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China has been watching residents of the Muslim-majority Xinjiang province on an unprecedented scale, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

The report claims Chinese authorities are using a mobile app to track and store personal data on individuals from China's Xinjiang province.

It claims the software can store data such as a person's height, weight and even the color of their car by linking it to the their national identification number.

The New York-based group said they discovered this after they reverse engineered the Chinese software.

The Integrated Joint Operations Platform or IJOP is said to gather data about a person's movements via their smartphones and other GPS devices.

It can collect this information from various checkpoints in Xinjiang, but also places such as gas stations and schools.

The app also labels a person as "suspicious" if they use Virtual Private Networks and apps such as Whatsapp and Viber — both of which are currently blocked in China.

According to the report, the app would target and monitor "36 person types." These would include individuals who rarely use their front door, use an unusual amount of electricity and those go on Hajj without state authorization.

The app can also observe and alert authorities on what it considers to be "unusual" activities.

It would also target those who have suddenly returned from abroad as well as those who have "enthusiastically" collected money and materials for a mosque.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Mobile app to track Chinese Uighurs
2. How the app collects information
3. Types of individual the app would target
4. More types of people the app would target

VOICEOVER (in English):
"The Human Rights Watch report claims Chinese authorities are using a mobile app to track and store personal data on individuals from China's Xinjiang province."

"The report claims the software can store data such as a person's height, weight and even the color of their car by linking it to the their national identification number."

"The Integrated Joint Operations Platform or IJOP is said to gather data about a person's movements via their smartphones and other GPS devices."

"It can collect this information from various checkpoints in Xinjiang, but also places such as gas stations and schools."

"According to the report, the app would target and monitor '36 person types.'"

"These would include individuals who rarely use their front door, use an unusual amount of electricity and those go on Hajj without state authorization."

"The app can also observe and alert authorities on what it considers to be 'unusual' activities."

"It would also target those who have suddenly returned from abroad as well as those who have 'enthusiastically' collected money and materials for a mosque."

SOURCES: Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, Human Rights Watch, BBC News, The Washington Post,
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-01/alibaba-backed-face-scans-show-big-tech-ties-to-china-s-xinjiang
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/hrw-china-mobile-app-surveillance-uighurs-190502031404525.html
https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/05/01/chinas-algorithms-repression/reverse-engineering-xinjiang-police-mass-surveillance
https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/05/01/interview-chinas-big-brother-app
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-48130048
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/chinese-database-is-tracking-cellphone-usage-car-location-and-even-electricity-usage-of-xinjiang-residents/2019/05/01/12eb3996-6c8a-11e9-be3a-33217240a539_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6a3efffb1155