Police from Wenzhou appeared to have purchased equipment using Trojans for monitoring mobile devices, raising reactions against such a tactic.
Trojan Horse software has been the purchase of Wenzhou Police, according to the post from the site of the Wenzhou Economic and Development Zone. This is definitely contradictory to the general rule of the Chinese Police, fighting off digital crime and opposing to anything that might harm the anonymity and security of Internet users.
It sounds wrong to spy on people and at the same time give advice to people against being spied on. Especially if you are the Police, this can be even more frowned upon and this is the case of Wenzhou Police and its recent purchase of equipment. Instead of using yuan for other purposes aiming to secure the Chinese people, the latest purchase of Trojan Horse software used to monitor mobile devices with Trojans has shaken the waters of privacy. A large sum of money (149,000 yuan or $24,000) was spent on this equipment, in order to enable monitoring the digital traces of mobile phones across the country.
The news was brought to light by the site of the Wenzhou Economic and Development Zone, although after the negative impact the news was deleted and removed from the site. The social media platforms have been spreading the news more quickly than fire, though, leaving China in an embarrassing position. It is clearly contradictory to fight for the online protection of Chinese citizens through preventing similar actions and then offer proof of doing the exact same thing, from an advantageous point. According to the Article 286 of China’s Criminal Law there is threat of up to 5 years in jail for those who “deliberately make and spread disruptive programs such as computer viruses”.
Being in China definitely means having to confront with breaches in one’s privacy on a daily basis. The heavy censorship that has been interwoven with the Golden Shield Project (or more commonly known as the Great Firewall of China) alarms citizens to be more cautious with the web. Mobile devices seem to be getting rapidly growing Internet traffic, with the recent reports from China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) highlighting that in mid 2014 there were 527 million mobile users in the country.
The percentage of 83.4 of the overall Internet usage being made via mobile devices is something that the Police could not ignore and therefore it makes absolute sense why the software has been purchased. What does not make sense, of course, is the reason why the people responsible for publishing the purchases of the Police did not conceal this information.
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