Translators: Rosemary & Ermat 【G-Translators/Authentic Writing Team】Author: MIYA
A database storing information from the Shanghai Public Security Bureau (PSB) was exposed after a hacked server with a security breach. The database showed that thousands of people were being monitored by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, including surveillance of incoming foreigners as well as Uighurs, and even records related to the detention and interrogation of thousands of Uyghurs by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
In late 2020, hacking groups accidentally discovered the data and turned it over to international media outlets such as the Australian National Security Service and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), which did an in-depth report on the incident.
According to the ABC, the database, codenamed “Uighur Terrorist,” contains more than 1.1 million internal documents and surveillance records of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, and is located on an open-source data platform used by security agencies around the world. Robert Potter, CEO of Internet 2.0, which also uses the data platform, told ABC that the database appears to be just one part of a massive CCP surveillance system that exposes the CCP’s attempts to use law enforcement and political tactics to gain maximum control over everyone’s data.
Most concerning is that thousands of Uighurs flagged as “suspected terrorists” have been recorded as being monitored, detained and interrogated by public security bureaus, including more than 400 minors as young as five years old. About 8,000 other Uyghurs were flagged for crimes such as “suspected terrorism” and “gathering to disrupt public order.
ABC found two Uighurs on the “suspected terrorists” list, both businessmen who had fled to Turkey with their families after being detained in Xinjiang. One of the businessmen had passed through Hangzhou in 2017 on a one-day trip to Shanghai Disney, where public security police searched his hotel room and warned any Uyghurs against staying in the area during the CCP Hangzhou meeting period. Upon his return to Xinjiang, he was held in a detention center for nearly a month. He told ABC, “You could be classified as a terrorist just because you’ve been to a mosque.”
Another Uyghur man was not charged with any crime . He was held in a prison for 10 months without cause. He was shocked when he learned he was on the blacklist. “It meant danger for me and my family.” He said.
The leaked database also shows that the Shanghai bureau not only monitors Xinjiang Uyghurs, but also nearly 10,000 Han Chinese (the Majority ethnicity) who suffer from mental illness, or have a history of drug use, or committing a crime, or so-called social order disruption, or repeated petitions. Some companies and employees in Shanghai are also on the watch list. A quarter of them are foreign companies, such as 3M, Bayer and Mitusbishi. Some employees of the flagged companies were tracked by facial recognition cameras while traveling.
In addition to this, even the passports and personal information of more than 5,000 foreigners appeared in the database. Among them, 161 Australian citizens were included in the surveillance when they entered the country in 2018. The vast majority of Australian nationals were unknowingly involved in the data breach. Among them are former Australian intelligence chiefs, government officials and business executives, as well as several children, the youngest being only two years old. Australian authorities are investigating why the CCP put them under surveillance. So far, the Chinese Embassy in Australia has not responded, the ABC said.
The accidental leak of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau’s database is important evidence of the CCP’s “genocide” against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. The Shanghai Bureau database is just the tip of the iceberg of the CCP’s national development project, the “SkyNet” surveillance system. “SkyNet connects all of the country’s facial and vehicle recognition cameras, public security databases, command and control systems, and threat warning information systems. The New York Times has reported that the CCP invests billions of dollars each year in high-tech surveillance. Xinjiang has been used as an incubator to foster an increasingly intrusive policing system. It acts as a virtual cage/prison that complements Xinjiang’s concentration camps. Every movement of the Uyghurs is completely monitored by the CCP. Xinjiang is like a purgatory under the 21st century.
The Shanghai Bureau’s database also reveals the CCP’s attempt to lay out a mass surveillance system. The CCP has been arbitrarily conducting surveillance on nationals and foreigners entering the country. In recent years, the CCP’s military-civilian fusion enterprises have had terminals all over the country and even around the world. In line with the CCP’s evil and ambitious intentions, it is highly likely that the “successful” experience gained in Xinjiang will be extended to the entire country in order to maintain the stability of its regime. Now the Communist surveillance system of monitoring and censoring is being exported to the rest of the world.
(The article merely represents the author’s opinion)